O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
L.F.G. Roland D VII (first version)
First of the D VII prototypes (No. 224/18), this machine was fitted with 195 h.p. Benz IIIb direct-drive engine and participated in the second D types Competition in the summer of 1918. Span, 8.84 m. (29 ft. 0 in.) Area, 20.8 sq.m. (225 sq.ft.). Weights: Empty, 666 kg. (1,465 lb.). Loaded, 885 kg. (1,947 lb.). Climb, 5,000 m. (16,400 ft.) in 26.2 min. Armament, twin Spandau machine-guns.
L.F.G. Roland D VII (second version)
This second of the two D VII prototypes (No. 3910/18), was fitted with the high-speed 195 h.p. Benz IIIb m. engine, which had reduction gears to decrease airscrew speed and resulted in a more pointed nose. Tail surfaces were markedly different from the other prototype, as was also the shape and balance of the ailerons. Armament, twin Spandau machine-guns.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
LFG ROLAND D VII Germany
Evolved in parallel with the D VI and also participating in the 1st D-type contest at Adlershof, the D VII was of similar construction and carried an identical armament of two 7,9-mm LMG 08/15 machine guns. It was powered, however, by the still-experimental 185 hp Benz Bz IIIbo eight-cylinder direct-drive engine. Although pilots considered forward view from the cockpit to be outstanding, thanks to the Vee-type arrangement of the engine, the Bz IIIbo was still suffering teething troubles. In the course of further development, the ailerons were revised and D VI-type vertical tail surfaces introduced. The aircraft again participated in a D-type contest, the 2nd, in May 1918. The engine was still insufficiently developed, however, and its recurrent problems dictated termination of the D VII test programme.
Max speed, 118 mph (190 km/h).
Time to 16,405 ft (5 000 m), 16.2 min.
Endurance, 1.5 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,468 lb (666 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,892 lb (858 kg).
Span, 29 ft 0 in (8,84 m).
Length, 20 ft 0 in (6,10 m).
Height, 9 ft 2 1/4 in (2,80 m).
Wing area, 224.22 sq ft (20,83 m2).
LFG ROLAND D VIII Germany
Built by LFG concurrently with the D VII, the D VIII differed essentially in having a geared Benz Bz IIIbm eight-cylinder Vee-type engine of 185 hp in place of the direct-drive Bz IIIbo. According to Idfliegreports, the D VIII was scheduled to make its appearance on 5 May 1918, in time to participate in the 2nd D-type contest. Although records concerning the D VIII are sparse, the debriefing minutes of the contest stated that ‘‘due to the results obtained during the trials, the Roland D VIII cannot be considered for series production”. It is known that the reduction gearing of the Bz IIIbm engine suffered severe vibration and recurrent mechanical faults, and it may be assumed that further development was discontinued after the Competition. No data or illustrations of the D VIII are available.
J.Herris Roland Aircraft of WWI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 9)
Roland D.VII & D.VIII
The Roland D.VII was developed in parallel with the D.VI; the key difference was the engine. The D.VII, which also used the Klinkerrumpf fuselage construction like the D.VI, was powered by an experimental 185 hp Benz Bz.IIIbo direct-drive V-8 engine. The D.VII had two synchronized LMG 08/15 machine guns and also participated in the First Fighter Competition.
During flight testing the ailerons were revised and D.VI-type vertical tail surfaces were introduced. The D.VII had some good qualities, including excellent field of view for the pilot. The D.VII also participated in the Second Fighter Competition in May 1918, but the experimental engine was troublesome and not ready for production and D.VII development was finally abandoned.
Developed in parallel with the Roland D.VII, the Roland D.VIII differed primarily by having a geared version of the Benz V-8, the experimental 185 hp Benz Bz.IIIbm, instead of the direct-drive version of the engine. The D.VIII was scheduled to participate in the Second Fighter Competition in May 1918. According to debriefing minutes of the contest "...due to the results obtained during the trials, the Roland D.VIII cannot be considered for series production." The reduction gears of the Benz Bz.IIIbm suffered severe vibration and recurrent failures, and further development was abandoned after the Second Fighter Competition. No additional data about the Roland D.VIII or illustrations are available.
Roland D.VII Specifications
Engine: 185 hp Benz Bz.IIIbo V-8
Wing: Span 8.84 m
Area 20.83 m2
General: Length 6.10 m
Height 2.80 m
Empty Weight 666 kg
Loaded Weight 858 kg
Maximum Speed: 190 km/h
Climb: 5000m 16.2 min