BMW 801C, Radial 14 Engine


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The BMW 801 was the first German high-performance, air-cooled radial engine of new design introduced after the start of World War II. Introduction of a cooling fan in the cowl nose opening, operating at approximately three times propeller speed and with internal baffles, made it possible to eliminate all external cowling enlargements. In most installations, the exhaust pipes were grouped to give ejector thrust, and reduced installed drag below that of an equivalent liquid-cooled engine.

The 801 incorporated an automatic two-speed, single-stage centrifugal supercharger, direct fuel injection, and single-lever operation of manifold pressure, engine speed, ignition timing, and blower speed. The 801A went into production in 1940 at 1,193 kW (1,600 shp). Later boosted models culminated in the TQ rated at 1,279 kW (1,715 shp) at 1,219 m (40,000 ft). Total production exceeded 61,000 engines.

The BMW 801C powered early models of the World War II German Focke-Wulf 190A fighter aircraft.

Collection Item Long Description:


Circa World War II

Inventory Number


Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, 14 cylinders, 2 rows, radial, supercharged, air cooled
  • Power rating: 1,268 kW (1,700 hp) at 2,700 rpm
  • Displacement: 41.8 L (2,550 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 156 mm (6.14 in.) x 156 mm (6.14 in.)
  • Weight: 880 kg (1,940 lb)

Credit Line

Found in collection

Country of Origin



Steel, Aluminum, Magnesium, Paint, Plastic, Rubber, Copper, Phenolic, Preservative coating


Diameter 132.1 cm (52 in.), Length 150.1 cm (59.1 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary