The airplane in this object realism poster is a Fokker D.VII which was Germany’s most successful World War I fighter. It was capable of flying at 125 mph at an altitude of 15,000 feet.
Artist Gustav Otto was born into the business of high-performance engine manufacture–his father was Nickolaus Otto, the German engineer who developed the precursor to the internal combustion engine. Gustav started his career tinkering with autos and motorcycles, but after getting his pilot’s license in 1910, he concentrated on airplanes. His early successes in design brought him contracts with the German air force, but problems with politics and production eventually caused him to sell out to a consortium. The company continued through World War I, when the terms of surrender forced a return to automobile and motorcycle production. The company became BMW in 1922, which it has remained to the present day.