History of Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW)
By Chris Hart
After World War I, BMW (and Germany) were forced to cease aircraft (engine) production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928.The logo or roundel is often alleged to portray the movement of an airplane propeller.
Many people think that the logo of BMW just comes from a spinning white propeller seen in the background of the blue sky. This might be but in fact it is known that it also comes from the white and blue flag of Bavaria - the largest state of Germany. The capital city of the state is Munich and this is the place where even today we can find the BMW Headquarters.
In 1916, with the foundation of the company, a contract was secured for building V12 engines.
These engines were about to be used in the creation of the automobiles from Austro-Daimler. These 12 cylinders V engines were at first used in aircrafts which is the original plan of the BMW Company. Taking in to account the time when the company was founded, it was very likely for them to continue like that.
In 1917, BMW's first aircraft engine went into production, the 6 cylinder Type IIIa. In 1919, using an aircraft powered by its successor, the Type IV, Franz Zeno Diemer set an altitude record of 9,760 metres (32,013 ft). After the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the same year, prohibiting BMW from building aircraft engines, production switched to air brakes for railway cars. When BMW started once again to build aircraft engines in 1922, no fewer than 29 world records in aviation were set with them. Soon...