Originally, BMW was an airplane engine manufacturer!!! Surprised to hear this? Yes, thats true. Top class car manufacturer BMW is a business entity of Rapp Motorenwerke. The company which was creating aircraft engines in 1917. BMW was forced to stop aircraft engine production by the terms of Versailles Armistice Treaty. The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties created at the end of World War I to finish the state of war between Germany and the Allied of Powers.
After stopping engine manufacturing, BMW switched to Motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted. And finally BMW jumped into automobile business in 1928-29.
Do you know BMW's Logo is derived by company's first business, Rapp Aircraft Engine Manufacturing?
BMW logo is registered in the named of "Roundel".
The BMW emblem represents the colors of Bavaria and is an adpatation of the original RAPP trademark when BMW acquired all assets of RAPP MOTORENWERKE the engine manufacturing company. Here is a "Line-Art" render of the BMW LOGO STYLE GUIDE.
Here we have the original RAPP Logo; a dark horse or a Knights Chess Piece Bust, represents Horse Power which is the accepted European unit of power for rating engine frequency and rate of piston generated energy throughput. During the first world war, this very profound symbol represented gallantry, masculine power and of course speed and agility.
The Blue and White color in the logo represent the colours of the Free State of Bavaria.
There is a myth that BMW logo represents Engine Propeller. This myth devloped when BMW in 1929 twelve years after the Roundel was created released following picture. The picture represents the circular blue and white BMW logo (roundel) as the movement of an aircraft propeller, to signify the white blades cutting through the blue sky.
Following Video is released by BMW which demonstrates evolution of BMW Logo (Roundel):
Some of the interesting use of BMW Engines:
"Rail Zeppelin" by Frank Kruchenberg, driven by a BMW aircraft engine that brought the train speed to a record-breaking 145 MPH in 1931.
Now a days, BMW engines are used in Small Aircrafts:
BMWJet Engine used in Brutus 545: