Самым значительным самолетом Рорбаха стал сухопутный Ro VIII Roland, спроектированный на основе четырехмоторного Zeppelin-Staaken E.4/20 (главный конструктор Рорбах), выполнившего первый полет в 1920 году, но разобранного по требованию
Самолет Ro VIII представлял собой моноплан с подкосным полуконсольным крылом. Два члена экипажа размещены в открытой кабине бок о бок, сзади и ниже кабины летчиков расположена закрытая кабина для десяти пассажиров. Силовая установка включала три мотора BMW IV или Va мощностью по 320 л. с. или 360 л. с., соответственно.
На варианте Ro VIIIa Roland II были установлены моторы BMW Va мощностью по 380 л.с. Roland был способен набирать высоту до 5000 м и выполнять полеты за облаками. Авиакомпания "Deutsche Luft Hansa" (DLH) с мая 1927 года использовала самолет для экспериментальных полетов через Альпы из Мюнхена в Милан, хотя машина не имела адекватного для таких перелетов приборного оборудования и радиостанции.
В 1927-1929 годах было построено девять гражданских авиалайнеров для DLH, которые использовались на линии Берлин - Лондон с посадкой в Амстердаме.
Несколько Roland взяла в аренду испанская "Iberia", после завершения коммерческой эксплуатации они были переданы в начале 1930-х годов DVS (Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule, германской школе летчиков транспортной авиации).
Flight, May 1929
THE ROHRBACH "ROLAND II”
Improved Version recently Completed
THE Rohrbach Metall-Flugzeugbau of Berlin has just completed a "Roland" three-engined commercial monoplane in which a number of improvements suggested by the experience of the Lufthansa have been incorporated. Like the older type, the latest version is destined for use on the German air routes, and although definite performance figures are not yet available, it appears that, in spite of a greater capacity, the new machine has suffered no reduction in performance compared with the "Roland I." The latter, it will perhaps be recollected, is the holder of no less than 22 world's records.
It is not proposed to give here a detailed description of the new machine, as it is assumed that the reader will be fairly familiar with the older type. We shall confine ourselves to giving an outline of the changes and improvements that have been incorporated in the latest version.
The most important change, from the point of view of the passengers, is the widening of the cabin space. This has been accompanied also by an increase in the height of the cabin, and as, furthermore, the wing has been raised so as to avoid running the centre section through the cabin, as it did in the older type, the comfort of the passengers is now considerably greater.
The pilot's cockpit of the new machine has been lowered so as to conform more to the general fuselage contour, and as the nose engine has been lowered, the view forward is still good without the raised cockpit, which rather disfigured the "Roland I." The windscreen has been re-designed. The tail of the "Roland II" has been re-designed, and now rests entirely on top of the fuselage, the main structure of which has been extended rearwards. The control surfaces, cables, etc., have thereby become more accessible for inspection and maintenance. Ball bearings have been substituted for the plain bearings previously used.
In the arrangement of the controls and control rods, improvements have been effected by the substitution of cranks for the sliding bearings, and non-magnetic metals such as electron and silumin castings have been employed wherever possible so as to avoid as far as possible interference with the compass.
In the undercarriage all ball-and-socket joints have been replaced by universal joints having grease-gun lubrication, and the fairings of the undercarriage struts are no longer made of wood but of electron.
The power-plant arrangement has undergone modifications resulting in improvements in aerodynamic efficiency as-well as in greater reliability of installation and better accessibility. The wing engine housings have been redesigned to give better aerodynamic form and better ventilation. The radiators have been transferred to a position outside the engines, and in the case of the central engine the radiator has been placed below the fuselage. All three radiators are now alike, and are mounted in accordance with the method specified by the German Luft Hansa.
The petrol tanks, housed inside the wing, have been increased in number from 8 to 10, whereby the petrol capacity has been increased from 1,350 litres (297 galls.) to 1,550 litres (341 galls.), and the petrol pipes have been so arranged on the outside of the fuselage that in case of a breakage no petrol would get into the cabin. All oil tanks are now placed behind the fireproof bulkheads, and Minimax fire-extinguishers have been installed. The fireproof bulkhead behind the central engine is now made of non-magnetic steel to reduce interference with the compass.
As already mentioned, detail performance figures are not available, but preliminary flying tests indicate that the top speed is scarcely affected in spite of the greater gross weight. It is thought that the climb is slightly improved, due, probably, to the better arrangement of the wing on top of the fuselage resulting in less interference drag. The take-off of the new "Roland" is better than that of the older type, and the D.V.L. has granted the machine a C. of A. for a greater gross weight, i.e., 7,600 kg. (16,522 lb.) instead of 7,400 kg. (16,270 lb.).
The useful load has been slightly reduced, owing to the greater tare weight of the new type, but it is thought that the users will readily accept this as the price paid for greater comfort for passengers and cheaper maintenance cost. The actual performance figures will be published as soon as they have been certified by the D.V.L.
Этот самолет D-1756 - Roland II - под наименованием "Rolandseck" использовался "Deutsche Luft Hansa" в конце 1920-х - начале 1930-х годов. В 1934 году DLH передала самолет в школу транспортной авиации (DVS), где он получил новую регистрацию D-ANAX.
The Rohrbach "Roland": Close-up view showing the three engines, the undercarriage, &c. Note the single "funk-wire" on each side. The engines are carefully disguised, but are obviously 6-cylinder verticals. The saloon has accommodation for ten passengers.
A GERMAN RECORD-BREAKER: The Rohrbach-Roland three-engined metal monoplane (of Luft Hansa) on which the German pilot Steindorf beat five world's records on February 4 at Staaken. With a load of 1,000 kg. (2,205 lbs.) he (attained a speed of 165 k.p.h. (102-5 m.p.h.) over the 500 kms. (310-7 miles), beating the last record of 163-076 k.p.h. (101-1 m.p.h.) held by Mittelholzer (Switzerland). With 2,000 kg. (4,410 lbs.) load he beat four more records: duration, 4 hrs. 18 mins.; distance, 600 kms. (372-8 miles); speed, 100 kms.- 173 k.p.h. (107-5 m.p.h.); 500 kms. - 165 k.p.h. (102-5 m.p.h.). The four original records held by de Lamothe and Bajac, were respectively, 4 hrs. 4 mins. 13 1/5 secs.; 500 kms.; 150-3 k.p.h. (93-18 m.p.h.); and 147-511 k.p.h. (91-4 m.p.h.).
Самолет Ro VIII Roland I (регистрация D-1280, №35) под наименованием "Feldberg" до 1934 года эксплуатировался в "Deutsche Luft Hansa". После постройки шести Ro VIII собрали еще три самолета варианта Ro VIIIa с усиленным фюзеляжем и более мощными моторами BMW V.
ROHRBACH Ro VIII ROLAND: A common sight at Croydon Airport in the 1930s, the German Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland was produced in two variants. The earlier version (see photo) had an open crew cockpit, whereas the later version - from D-1692 onwards - had an enclosed cabin, and was known as the Roland II. Power for the Roland I was three 240-h.p. BMW IVs, while that for the Roland II was three 320-h.p. BMW Va's or 310-h.p. Junkers L-5. Span 86 ft . 34- in .; length 53 ft . 10 in. Total weight (Roland II) 16,760 lb. for maximum speed of 131 m.p.h . Note emergency magnesium flares under wings.
The Rohrbach "Roland": At the moment, when it is rumoured that the Beardmore works at Dalmuir have under construction a large three-engined monoplane, this photograph of the Rohrbach "Roland" is of interest. It would appear that in this machine also Dr. Rohrbach has "practised what he preaches" concerning high wing loading. Needless to say, the machine is of all-metal construction.
RECORD BREAKERS: The upper photograph, and that on the left, show the Rohrbach "Roland" three-engined monoplane which recently established world's records over 1,000 km. with useful loads of 1,000 kg. and 2,000 kg. The speed was 196-7 km./h. (122 m.p.h.). In the photograph on the right Chamberlin and Levine are seen during a visit to the Rohrbach works, examining the construction of a Rohrbach all-metal machine.
The Rohrbach Roland's wing dihedral is proving popular with builders of flying models. Will they retain the belt-and-braces safety cable bracing to the cantilever wing? Seen here is D-1297 "Wasserkuppe" with a mixture of wood and metal airscrews
В 1926-1932 годах "Rohrbach" построила 18 Roland I и II (на фотографии). В конструкцию Roland II внесли ряд изменений, установили новое крыло и изменили интерьер кабины экипажа.
THE NEW ROHRBACH "ROLAND": Two views of the improved machine recently produced. A larger cabin and cockpit and better engine installation are features of the latest type.
The Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland II, above, had enclosed cockpits and a trio of BMW Va engines. This example, Stolzenfels, later became D-ARAF.
A typical view of Croydon in the 1930s, with the famous terminal building dominating the scene. On the apron, left to right, are a Fokker F.III, Rohrbach Roland, Liore et Olivier 21, Handley Page W8b and Handley Page W10.
Few types of all-metal Multi-engined Aircraft are able to continue Flight with one Engine out of action. The Rohrbach Roland is capable of doing so.