Culture – Report: visit to the BMW Museum in Munich – The beginnings of Bayerische Motoren Werke


Munich (Germany),

Report: visit to the BMW Museum in Munich

Culture - Report: visit to the BMW Museum in Munich - The beginnings of Bayerische Motoren Werke

Based in Munich since its beginnings, the manufacturer of aircraft engines, motorcycles and cars BMW has created a complex there that brings together a factory, a giant concession and a museum. MNC took advantage of his visit to revise his History.

follow the guide !

The beginnings of Bayerische Motoren Werke

Opened in 1973 two turns of the Olympic Village, the BMW Museum was enlarged four years ago (in 2008) and now covers 5,000 m2. More than 120 cars, motorcycles, aircraft engines and historic races are on display, not in chronological order of release but according to 25 thematic centers..

In doing so, those in charge of the propeller brand wish to highlight certain constants that have characterized their production for almost 90 years, such as design, engines, aerodynamics and even competition..

"The BMW Museum was listed as a historic monument in 1999, with the headquarters of the company that Munich residents also call "Quatre-Cylindres" because of its characteristic architecture.", explains our guide.

The main building of the museum – the old museum, in fact – adopts the shape of a rotunda renamed "Saucer" by residents. But most of the exhibition is now held in the adjacent building.

The BMW Welt

The "BMW Welt" building itself is like a gigantic concession which receives around 2 million visitors each year. Around 100 cars are delivered there every day to German, European and even American customers. The 4,000-ton steel structure rests on 11 pillars and begins with an impressive double cone. The factory next to the Welt, the head office and the BMW museum produces cars (3 Series) at the rate of 900 units / day and engines. It can also be visited.

The vast majority of vehicles – original! – are obviously cars. They are worth a look, but Site naturally focused on two-wheelers … To fully understand the brand and its motorcycles, it is however useful to go back to the origins of BMW … Guided tour !

On July 21, 1917, the Rapp-Motorenwerke aircraft engine factory, founded in Munich in 1913, was renamed "Bayerische Motoren Werke". The First World War then rages and small business activity continues to increase…

The first BMW production is therefore an aircraft engine: the IIIa ("3A"), which benefits from a carburetor developed by engineer Max Friz allowing the machine to maintain good performance even at very high altitude..

The Iva model, which can be seen in the first room of the vast BMW Museum, is its worthy successor: it entered the annals of aeronautics on June 17, 1919 for its flight at an unprecedented altitude of 9760 m (32,000 feet ).

This liquid-cooled in-line 6-cylinder – an architecture still dear to the brand today – cubed no less than 23 liters, developed 300 horsepower and was fitted to aircraft such as the Albatros 74, the Junkers F13, the Heinkel HD39 or the Dornier "Merkur".

To set the famous record, BMW test pilot Franz Zeno Diemer took control of a DFW F37 / III type aircraft. But eleven days after this feat, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles forced the propeller brand to change jobs….

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