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Discussion Starter #1
The prevalent story is that it represents a propeller spinning against the sky. Is this actually a fact or myth, just representing the blue and white colors of Bavaria?
 

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It is fact. If you are interested here is a link http://www.flyingbrick.de. Click the BMW factory for a brief history. The rest of the site is also quite interesting.
 

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Fact,

On 20 July 1917 the Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was registered, intent on producing the Max Friz redesign of the Karl Rapp six cylinder aircraft engine, denoted the BMW IIIa. The engine was used in the Fokker D.VII fighter plane. The rotating propellor trademark was registered at the Imperial Patents Office on 5 October 1917.

The Bavarian Aircraft Works (Bayerische Flugzeug Werke - formerly Otto Works) was the other part of the company, and was incorporated on 5 June 1922. The old Bavarian Aircraft Works site is still the site for Plant 1 of BMW AG.

Interestingly, Max Friz, the designer of the BMW IIIa aircraft engine, was also the father of the BMW boxer motorcycle.
 

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Rondel origins

I would truly like to believe the origin of the rondel has to do with a stylized spinning prop. I read a fairly exhaustively researched article online once (I wish I could remember where, but I can't), which said there was no evidence to prove the story one way or the other. With all respect to the other posters and especially about flyingbrick.de, that's a private website and just one person's opinion, and I don't see any evidence there either. I'm not here to argue... if someone can offer up an official source which proves the story, I would sincerely like to see it.
 

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DrSand said:
Fact,

On 20 July 1917 the Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was registered, intent on producing the Max Friz redesign of the Karl Rapp six cylinder aircraft engine, denoted the BMW IIIa. The engine was used in the Fokker D.VII fighter plane. The rotating propellor trademark was registered at the Imperial Patents Office on 5 October 1917.

The Bavarian Aircraft Works (Bayerische Flugzeug Werke - formerly Otto Works) was the other part of the company, and was incorporated on 5 June 1922. The old Bavarian Aircraft Works site is still the site for Plant 1 of BMW AG.

Interestingly, Max Friz, the designer of the BMW IIIa aircraft engine, was also the father of the BMW boxer motorcycle.
This is correct, and well documented. One thing that should be mentioned is that not only does the logo represent a spinning propellor, but they chose the colors to be the official colors of the "state" (province) of Bavaria. The blue and white colors are near and dear to Bavarians and are referred to there as the "Weissblau" (white blue).

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DrSand said:
Fact,

On 20 July 1917 the Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke) was registered, intent on producing the Max Friz redesign of the Karl Rapp six cylinder aircraft engine, denoted the BMW IIIa. The engine was used in the Fokker D.VII fighter plane. The rotating propellor trademark was registered at the Imperial Patents Office on 5 October 1917.

The Bavarian Aircraft Works (Bayerische Flugzeug Werke - formerly Otto Works) was the other part of the company, and was incorporated on 5 June 1922. The old Bavarian Aircraft Works site is still the site for Plant 1 of BMW AG.

Interestingly, Max Friz, the designer of the BMW IIIa aircraft engine, was also the father of the BMW boxer motorcycle.
Not trying to be difficult, but was the trademark described as a propeller? It could have simply been a graphic design using the Bavarian colors; was there a description of what it was symbolizing?
 

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Oldtimer said:
It is fact. If you are interested here is a link http://www.flyingbrick.de. Click the BMW factory for a brief history. The rest of the site is also quite interesting.
Steve an excerpt from the site listed states
"...did not manufacture motorcycles all the time. The “Bavarian Aircraft Works AG” were founded 1916 by Max Friz and Karl Rapp, two young engineers. In 1917, Max Friz (who was formerly an employee of Daimler) renamed his company “Bavarian Motor Works” (BMW) and already produced BMW make aircraft engines. Two years later, an BMW engine-equipped Biplane even set up the world record for the flight altitude at 9700 meters (which is almost the cruising altitude of today´s aircraft!). Since this time the BMW emblem shows the well-known stylized white propeller at the blue sky."
Note the last sentence.
 

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OK....What if the propeller is spinning at night? Is it still a BMW?
Muuuhhahahahahahahaha....
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Sent an e-mail to BMW Motorrad USA and got this reply:

Dear Enthusiast:

Thank you for contacting BMW Motorrad USA regarding the BMW logo. We appreciate your interest in our brand.

BMW began in the early 1900s as an airplane engine manufacturer, and the blue and white roundel suggests a rotating propeller in a blue sky. Today, the emblem signifies the BMW Group, a global company that produces hundreds of thousands of motorcycles and cars.

If you have any further questions, please respond to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117. Our office hours
are Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time.

Regards,
BMW Motorrad USA


I also sent an e-mail to BMW Motorrad in Germany and got this:

Dear Mr Carlton,

Thank you for your email.

The propeller story is a myth which originates from the 1930's. The real story can be found at the attached file. It describes the current state of research regarding the BMW logo.

We hope this is helpful for you.

Yours sincerely,
BMW Mobile Tradition
Group Archives

Andreas Harz

phone: +49 (0) 89/382-68 281
fax: +49 (0) 89/382-24 765
email: [email protected]
URL: http://www.historicalarchive.bmw.com








 

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Wow! What this proves, amoung other things, is that the origin of the BMW roundel as stated in at least 2 books on the company's history (including one I just bought!), is... BS!

Bob.
 

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Respect on the research Steve. Sigh, another fairytale bubble burst. Just you leave Santa Claus alone :)
 
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