It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No! It's a Whale!
I remember cracking open the box of the old Airfix kit of the Roland C.II. It was such a funky plane you had to love it. The bloated fuselage gave me visions of an Albatros which had been force fed donuts until it could no longer touch its toes. The only problem with the kit was the lack of choices of paint schemes. It made you think that you could have it in any color you want as long as it was pale gray. Once I found out there were other paint schemes line of gray Walfisch on my shelf became a lot more colorful.
The LFG Roland C.II, usually known as the Walfisch (Whale), was an advanced German reconnaissance aircraft of World War I. It was manufactured by Luft-Fahrzeug-Gesellschaft G.m.b.H.
The C.II featured a monocoque fuselage built with an outer skin of two layers of thin plywood strips at an angle to each other (known as a Wickelrumpf, or "wrapped body" design). The deep fuselage completely filled the gap between the mainplanes and gave the aircraft its nickname.
The C.II was powered by a single 160 hp (120kW) Mercedes D III, providing a top speed of 165km/h, a ceiling of 4000m, and an endurance of four hours. The thin wings gave a mediocre rate of climb.
- From Wikipedia LFG Roland C.II "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LFG_Roland_C.II"
- Munson, Kenneth - "Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914-1919" ISBN 0 7537 0918 X