Max Friz (October 1, 1883–June 9, 1966)  was a German mechanical engineer specializing in engine design. He was the key contributor of engine design and innovation that led to the founding of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) in 1917.
- Royal Building Trade School in Stuttgart-Esslingen
- Critical contributions to the founding of BMW AG
- Mechanical Engineering
Nov 22, 2017 · Max Friz was an unsung hero of the automotive industry designing engines for aeroplanes, motorcycles and cars. His legacy can be seen today with BMW engines.
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Jun 04, 2021 · Founded in 1916, BMW had its first product being a straight-six aircraft engine called the BMW IIIa, which was designed in early 2017 by Max Friz. After WWI, BMW continued its business by manufacturing railway brakes, household items, farm equipment, motorcycle engines.
- Early Life
- Aircraft Engines
- See Also
Assumed to be originally from Urach, very little is known about Friz' youth. It is known however, that at a young age, he apprenticed to the Kuhn steam engine company in Cannstatt starting in 1898. In 1902 he enrolled at the Royal Building Trade School in Stuttgart-Esslingen furthering his engineering skills. In 1906 he was employed by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, in the Design Office, making major contributions to the design of the racing engine for the 1914 Mercedes Grand Prix car that won the French Grand Prix. Friz designed the first practical German aircraft engines in 1912-1913 while at Austro-Daimler. The engines had separate cylinders on the crankcase and an overhead camshaft driven by a vertical shaft and bevel gears. At the end of 1916 the young engineer Max Friz applied for a position with Rapp Motorenwerke. At that time Friz was still working for the Daimler engine company in Untertürkheim, near Stuttgart. However, he was frustrated because the chief engineer, Paul Daim...
Upon arriving at Rapp Motorenwerke, Friz was tasked to develop an aircraft engine that could attain very high altitudes as well as be durable and aerodynamically favorable. A higher operational flight ceiling was a critical strategic advantage for the pilot (since the atmospheric pressure decreases the higher a pilot flies a plane, a conventional engine at this time literally stalled out above 3,000 meters). In the spring of 1917, at the time Friz was working at the drawing board on his groundbreaking engine, the outlook for Rapp Motorenwerke was bad. The Army High Command wanted to commit itself to a few types of aircraft and aeroengine and then get these built under license by several companies. In the spring of 1917 a commission from the Reichswehrtherefore inspected the Rapp engine plant. They had to decide which engines would in future have to be produced under license in Munich. In the end, the Rapp management was faced with the choice of manufacturing either Daimler or Benz e...
With World War I now over, the company was forbidden from aircraft design. This necessitated the need for new avenues of growth for the company. Friz, with his designs and engineering expertise, launches BMW into the motorcycle market with the development of the R32 motorcycle, which established the foundation for all future boxerpowered BMW motorcycles (in addition to numerous motorsport titles and world records). Friz and his team of engineers design the first "boxer" (or opposed twin) engine was the fore-and-aft M2B15, based on a British Douglas design. It was manufactured by BMW in 1921/1922 but mostly used in other brands of motorcycles, notably Victoria of Nuremberg. The M2B15 proved to be moderately successful and BMW used it in its own Helios motorcycle. BMW also developed and manufactured a small 2-stroke motorcycle called the Flinkfor a short time. When BMW Gmbh went public in 1922, Friz was named the first Chief Engineer and Design Director of BMW AG, a post he would hold...
Friz was appointed to General Manager of BMW-Flugmotorenbau GmbH, Munich in 1934, and was there until 1937. With BMW continued growth into automobiles, Friz succeeded Leo C. Grass as General Manager of Flugmotorenfabrik Eisenach GmbH, overseeing development of automobile engine design and development.1945 Friz retired from BMW. Friz was honored with an Honorary Doctorate from the Munich College of Advanced Technology in 1954. Died in Tegernsee.
In his own area Max Friz and Franz-josef Popp, two Austrians, took on the business. In 1919, having an airplane powered by its own successor, the Kind 4, F.Z.Diemer establish an altitude record of 9,750 m. (about 32,013 feet). More than 28 world records in aviation were set together, when BMW started once more to construct aircraft engines in 1922.
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