Karl Friedrich Rapp is the name of the founder of BMW, one of the biggest world wide car manufacturing companies. BMW or Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works) was founded in 1916 as a successor to the Rapp Motor.
Many people think that the logo of BMW comes from a spinning white propeller seen in the background of the blue sky. This may be so 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 aircraft which is the original plan of the BMW Company. Taking in account the time when the company was founded it was very likely for them to continue like that.
However in 1919 after the World War I and the Treaty of Versailles the production of aircraft in Germany was prohibited and that quickly changed the politics of BMW. They began making brakes for the Rail transport. Soon after that BMW was able to design a motorcycle engine which was used for the creation of a motorcycle called with the model name Victoria. However Victoria was not built by BMW but by another company in Nuremberg.
In 1924 BMW made a model of a motorcycle which was the first one they built - the R32. This was a turning point in the BMW history because it was a major achievement and for decades they used its technology - 500 cc engines cooled down by the air. Soon after that BMW added one new innovation - the driveshaft. It came to replace the chain for driving the rear wheel and became a mark of BMW for quite some time.
In the German city Eisenach in 1927 began the production of Dixi - under license but only a year after that the Dixi Company was bought by BMW and they began mass production together with the model Austin Seven.
When the World War I began BMW took its place in it because of the German army's motorized division. They used BMW R75 together with BMW R12. Because of the high need of engines BMW note that period as highly profitable. BMW was the main supplier and even today words like Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht brings many memories. Some of the best planes in that historical time used the BMW aero-engines and till the 1945 more than 30 000 planes with these engines were manufactured.
BMW even made researches which enabled the company to make different jet engines for weapons. With the use of some men power consisting mainly by prisoners of the war BMW made many rocket-based weapons that were used in the war.