Up until the end of World War 1, BMW was a manufacturer of aircraft engines. Its famous blue and white circular badge, which is said to represent aircraft propellers in motion, being a reminder of the company’s past. The fact that the logo actually derives from the colours of the flag of Bavaria, and was used a good 12 years before BMW began to build aircraft engines, has done nothing to interfere with the popular myth.
When the German Air Force was disbanded and outlawed after the war, BMW had to turn its attentions elsewhere to put bread on the table. After briefly flirting with the manufacturer of agricultural machinery and even office furniture, they began building motorcycles. At that time, the chief designer was a man named Max Friz, who was responsible for the famous Boxer engines, the first of which was based on a British Douglas design.