Monday, August 1, 2011

Photoshoot: BMW E92 M3, WWII Engines

Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Post World War I: The Allied nations had given Germany a decisive defeat.  The 1920 Treaty of Versailles forced an armistice on Deutschland that prohibited production of armed aircraft, something that affected BMW originally in the company's infancy under the name "Rapp Motorenwerke" (before becoming "BMW AG"). However in 1935, Germany violated the armistice and began ramping up for WWII. During that time, BMW acquired the license to produce air-cooled radial propeller engines from American Aerospace company Pratt & Whitney and produced an improved version, the BMW 132.  Eventually BMW would go on to produce the BMW 801 which was equipped in the infamous Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (i didn't make up that name, really) aircraft used against the Allied forces.  Inspired from Karl Rapp's engine designs, BMW's inline 6 was born in this time period.

The engine featured in this photoshoot is Pratt & Whitney's R-2800 "Double Wasp" radial propellar engine, which produces between 1,800 to 2800 horsepower (experimental versions reaching ~3,600hp).  The engine mechanic also told me it was pulled off of a Vought F4U Corsair. 

Does the 4.0 Liter V8 S65 engine in under the hood of the E92 M3 have any relation to the 46 Liter, 18 cylinder R-2800 in the background? I would say they might be very distant relatives.  Would love to hear your comments and thoughts. View the photo shoot in my Flickr Stream.


Comments welcome.