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LFG Roland D.II (Shark)


Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft


Imperial Germany | 1917



"Introduced in early 1917, the LFG Roland D.II biplane fighter saw production reach 300 units before the end of World War 1."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the LFG Roland D.II Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder in-line water-cooled piston engine developing 160 horsepower and driving two-bladed wooden propeller in nose.
Propulsion
112 mph
180 kph | 97 kts
Max Speed
16,404 ft
5,000 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
224 miles
360 km | 194 nm
Operational Range
715 ft/min
218 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the LFG Roland D.II Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
22.8 ft
6.95 m
O/A Length
29.4 ft
(8.95 m)
O/A Width
10.2 ft
(3.12 m)
O/A Height
1,576 lb
(715 kg)
Empty Weight
2,105 lb
(955 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the LFG Roland D.II (Shark) Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
2 x 7.92mm LMG08/15 machine guns over nose synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the LFG Roland D.II (Shark) family line.
D.II - Base Series Designation; initial production model; fitted with Mercedes D.III piston engine of 160 horsepower.
D.IIa - Fitted with Argus As.III series engines of 180 horsepower.
C.V - Single two-seat prototype; fitted with Mercedes D.III engine of 160 horsepower.
D.II (Pfal) - Production of D.II aircraft by Pfalz
D.IIa (Pfal) - Production of D.IIa aircraft by Pfalz


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/31/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

LFG Roland of Germany built a healthy, deep stable of combat aircraft for the German Empire during World War 1 (1914-1918) and this included fixed-wing types as well as airships. A development of 1916 became the D.II - later known as the "Shark" - a single-seat, single-engine biplane fighter that was adopted for service in early-1917 and produced to the tune of 300 examples by both LFG Roland and competitor Pfalz. The D.II was developed from the earlier D.I biplane which, itself, was a further evolution of the two-seat C.II reconnaissance mount. The D.II was fielded by the German Empire and Bulgarian air services.

Due to its origins in the C.II/D.I, the D.II carried over similar physical features that included a streamlined, and rather deep, fuselage. A large spinner covered the propeller hub. The biplane wing arrangement showcased single bays with parallel strut works and applicable cabling. The pilot sat aft and under the upper wing assembly - though the wing itself sat low over the forward fuselage and restricted much of the forward-down, forward-side vision from the pilot. A wheeled, tail-dragger undercarriage was featured as was a single vertical tail fin.

Internally, the D.II was completed with a plywood monocoque fuselage construction. The fuselage was essentially made up of two halves joined at a center line (with glue) and the entire structure was skinned over in fabric for added strength. Not only did this provide for the needed clean and aerodynamically refined look of the aircraft it also produced a rather lightweight overall structure.

Armament was conventional for the period - 2 x LMG08/15 (Spandau) series machine guns set over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades by way of "interrupter" gear.

As finalized, the D.II design could stay aloft up to two hours and reach a ceiling of over 16,000 feet. Maximum speed was listed at 112 miles per hour.

The initial field variant was known simply as "D.II" and these forms carried the Mercedes D.III piston engine of 160 horsepower. The mark was followed by the "D.IIa" which switched over to an Argus As.III engine of 180 horsepower but, despite the added output power, the aircraft suffered at altitudes beyond 10,000 feet - forcing the type to low-level operations. The C.V existed as a "one-off" two-seat prototype form still carrying the original Mercedes D.III engine (160 horsepower). Pfalz-produced D.II and D.IIa models were designated as D.II (Pfal) and D.IIa (Pfal) respectively to differentiate their factory origins. One hundred of each form were produced by Pfalz Flugzeugwerke.

In service, the aircraft did not prove itself as formidable as its appearance would suggest. Controlling was deemed below average, requiring a steady hand by the pilot and some useful experience in combat, and vision out-of-the-cockpit was poor owing to the placement of the upper wing assembly. Where the D.II did shine was in straightline performance from its Mercedes engine coupled with the sleek fuselage - it could match or outpace contemporary fighters. It was also well-armed and featured a strong internal structure.

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Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the LFG Roland D.II (Shark). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 300 Units

Contractor(s): Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft GmbH (LFG Roland) / Pfalz - Imperial Germany
National flag of Bulgaria National flag of the German Empire

[ Bulgaria; German Empire ]
1 / 1
Image of the LFG Roland D.II (Shark)
Image from the Public Domain; Two-seat fighter prototype pictured.

Going Further...
The LFG Roland D.II (Shark) Single-Seat Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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