The BMW Museum in Munich/Germany
Update: The new BMW Museum is opend since June 21th, 2008. More infos:
das neue BMW Museum (german language)
Information about the old bmw museum:
The BMW building "Four-Cylinder" in Munich with the BMW Museum in front, behalf the big BMW sign.
The architecture of the BMW museum
The BMW Museum was built at the same time as the Olympic Stadium with its famous tent roof and the BMW Builiding. Construction startet in 1971 and the Museum was opened in 1973. It was conceived and planned by the same architect, who designed the BMW Builiding: Professor Dr. Karl Schwanzer from Vienna gave these two buildings a very different shape, but nevertheless created a unique blend of architecture.
He made so revolutionary in their special style that they remain unique to this very day. The special technique applied when constructiong the BMW Building was that all 22 floors were built on the ground and then pulled up to the top, each floor suspended from the level above. One might therefore say the "Four-Cylinder" is a hanging house.
The museum, on the other hand, is designed as a "self-supporting body": the reinforced concrete shell supports the roof. The spiral path inside the Museum rest entirely on the columns also supporting the four platforms which constantly increase in size the further up you go. The shell expands in size from a diameter of less than 20 metres (66 ft) to 41 metres (134.5 ft) at the top. In all - it is 19 metres (62 ft) high. Flying over the area in an aircraft you will see a huge BMW logo on the roof of the Museum.
• The BMW Museum is opened every day from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm.
The succes of the BMW Museum
The BMW Museum is one of the most popular company museums in Germany. And of all the companies sights in Munich, only the Deutsches Museum and the Neue Pinakothek (New Gallery) attract more visitors. Each year some 250,000 people from all over the world come the BMW Museum - a story of success for which there are good reasons, because the BMW Museum does not just present the history of BMW and the engines, motorcycles and automobiles manufactured by the company in the course of its first 75 years.
Rather, the BMW Museum achieves an entirely different goal. It enables its visitors to marvel at the horizons of transport technology through the eyes of five generations. From the early days at the beginning of this century and into the next millenium. Horizons which show the development of ideas, dreams, philosophies, work, society and the individual mobility made possible by technology. In this way the BMW Museum possibly makes it a bit easier to understand the present as the future of our past and as the past of our future.
Pictures of the BMW Museum
BMW VI, 12-cylinder-V-engine, 1926-1936, Carburettor engine with 402 kW (550 bhp) continuous output on 1,530 rpm, Air screw transmission 1:1
The engine that powered the Dornier "Whale". The Dornier "Whale" in which Wolfgang von Gronau flew the Atlantic from East to West in 1930 in only 44 hours was powered by two of these BMW VI engines. Flying the Dornier Merkur featuring the same engine, Walter Mittelholzer covered the 20,000 km (12,000 miles) from Zurich to Cape Town in the mid-20's in 97 hours. Licences for the production of this reliable engine were granted to Russia and Japan. Within 10 years BMW produced exactly 6,345 engines of this type.
Klemm L25 with BMW Xa 5-cylinder radial engine, 1931-1932, Carburettor engine with 37 kw (51 bhp) continuous output.
In front: BMW 003 jet engine until 1945, Single-shaft engine, 8-stage compressor, Annular combustion chamber, Single-stage turbines, 700 kp/f thrust, 900 km/h (558 mph)
Sports plane with BMW radial engine. In the early '30s BMW produced a small number of the type X and Xa 5-cylinders radial engines fitted in sports aircraft such as this Klemm L25. Flying this plane, Max Seyffer took part in various flights round Germany at the time. In all, only 32 of these engines were produced.
The world's first jet engine to enter standard production. With the limits to conventional piston-design aero engines becoming evident in the mid-'30s, BMW started the development of jet engines. This BMW 003 jet engine was designed in 1939 and started its first test runs under the fuselage of a Ju 88 in 1941. The first actual test flight in winter 1944, where the 003 powered an Arado 234 longrange resconnaissance plane, was followed by installation of the engine in various high-performance aircraft. Total production of the BMW 003 jet engine amounted to 1,300 units.
Many people's dream car. Announced in 1955, the BMW 507 quickly became famous. It had a light-alloy body designed by Albrecht Graf Goertz and a fully retractable soft roof, with a hardtop available as an option. Like many sports cars ot its time, the 507 had a central floor-mounted gearshift. The 507 Roadster with V8 engine and two twin-barrel downdraft carburetors hat a top speed of more than 200 km/h (124 mph). Driving a BMW 507, Hans Struck won numerous national and international hillclimbs. Only 254 of these cars were built, but were driven by such internationally known celebrities as Aly Khan and Elvis Presley.
BMW 1500, 1962-1964, 4 cylinders,
The first "New Class" BMW. The BMW 1500 represented a new beginning from which the BMW company developed to its current significance. The concept for the new car was developed from the mid-1950s onwards. Chief stylist Wilhem Hofmeister gave the BMW 1500 a low waistline and a correspondingly low engine hood and rear end. This striking outline and the excellent suspension, with spring struts at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear, made the BMW 1500 a trend-setter for the entire automobilde industry. BMW continued this successful concept in subsequent years, initially with the BMW 1600, 1800 and 2000. Production totals were 23,807 BMW 1500s, 9,728 BMW 1600s, 160,773 BMW 1800s and 139,857 BMW 2000s.
BMW was established in 1916 when the two Munich companies "Rapp Motorenwerke AG" and "Gustav Flugmaschinenfabrik" werged to form "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG", which was shortly afterwards renamed "Bayerische Motoren Werke AG" (BMW). In its first production halls, next to the Munich airport of the day and now the site of the Olympic Park, BMW developed and built aircraft engines, branching out into motorcycles from 1923 on. BMW built its first cars in 1928. BMW initially made a name for itself through its reliable, high-performance engines, with the sporting success of its motorcycles and cars adding to its worldwide renown and prestige. Today BMW is the only European car manufacturer which also produces motorcycles and aero engines.
Quelle: BMW Mobile Tradition. Führung durch das BMW Museum.
Source: BMW Mobile Tradition. A Guided Tour of the BMW Museum.
Historical Flight with a BMW 12-cylinder-engine (German language)
12 cylinder in the first 7series (model E23). (German language)
Design history of the first standard V12-engine in the 7series (German language)
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