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Work had begun on the design of the BMW 003 before its contemporary, the Junkers Jumo 004 engine, but prolonged developmental problems meant that the BMW 003 entered production much later, and the aircraft projects that had been designed with it in mind were re-engined with the Jumo powerplant instead. The most famous case of this was the Messerschmitt Me 262, in two of the V-series prototypes and in the two experimental A-1b aircraft, and the same was true of the Arado Ar 234 and Horten Ho 229. The only production aircraft to use the BMW 003 were the Heinkel He 162 and late, four-engined versions of the Arado Ar 234.
Some 500 BMW 003 engines were built in Germany, but very few were ever installed in aircraft. The engine also formed the basis for turbojet development in Japan during the war, and in France and the Soviet Union following the war.