BMW Model IIIA In-line 6 Engine

Side view of long six-cylinder BMW Model IIIA In-line 6 Engine on display
Zoom in on the image Zoom    Download this file Download


The Daimler-Benz company's virtual monopoly on the production of aircraft engines in Germany stifled research and development of other engines. As a result, when the Allies introduced a new generation of high-performance engines in 1916, Germany found itself without a suitable replacement for the 119 kw (160-shp) Daimler-Benz Mercedes. Designer Max Fritz proposed a new engine that used the same technology as the older Mercedes. But his ideas met with resistance, so Fritz left and joined Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW). There he designed an engine that retained the 6-cylinder in-line configuration of the earlier Daimler-Benz engines, but was superior in many respects.




Mark Avino

ID #:



Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum


Smithsonian Institution

Rights Usage:

CC0 (Open Access)

Rights Status:

No Known Copyright or Other Restrictions

Terms of Use:

Smithsonian Terms of Use
For print or commercial use please see permissions information.