Wackett's ‘Warrigal I’ officially launched

After receiving specifications for a new advanced type of trainer required for Air Force service, Wing Commander Lawrence Wackett began drawing designs at the RAAF Experimental Section at Mascot, Sydney, for a two-seat biplane to be known as the ‘Warrigal’ (Aboriginal for ‘wild’ or ‘untamed’). Once ministerial approval was obtained, construction of what became the Warrigal I (a further development of the design was planned from the outset) was completed late in 1928, making extensive use of Australian timbers and locally-cast metals. Following tests at Richmond, the machine was flown to Point Cook where it was formally handed over to No 1 Flying Training School on this day, with Mrs Ettie Williams (wife of the Chief of the Air Staff) breaking a bottle of champagne over the aircraft’s propeller boss. Wackett’s one-off prototype was destroyed in a landing accident just nine months later.

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