Avi­a­tor in­ducted into hall of fame

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - — Tony Raggatt

THE fa­ther of the Aus­tralian air­craft in­dus­try whose pi­o­neer­ing ap­proach left a legacy still seen in the skies has been in­ducted into the 2015 Queens­land Busi­ness Lead­ers Hall of Fame.

Townsville- born Sir Lawrence Wack­ett has been hon­oured for his con­tri­bu­tion to avi­a­tion.

Sir Lawrence, who died in 1982, was knighted for his ser­vices to avi­a­tion in 1954. He was recog­nised with a Distin­guished Fly­ing Cross for his ser­vice in Egypt in World War I.

Af­ter the war, Sir Lawrence be­came an aero­nau­ti­cal engi­neer and was ap­pointed gen­eral man­ager and chief de­signer of the Com­mon­wealth Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion, em­ploy­ing 10,000 staff. The cor­po­ra­tion pro­duced more than 1700 planes and Sir Lawrence was in­stru­men­tal in the de­sign of the nearly 450 Wack­ett train­ers ( named af­ter him) and Boomerang fight­ers used dur­ing World War II and helped pro­duce other air­craft in­clud­ing the Woomera bomber, RAAF Mus­tang and CAC Sabre – the first air­craft in Aus­tralia to break the sound bar­rier.

Now in its sev­enth year, the Queens­land Busi­ness Lead­ers Hall of Fame is a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween QUT Busi­ness School, State Li­brary of Queens­land and the Queens­land Li­brary Foun­da­tion. It cel­e­brates those or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als who have en­hanced the state’s rep­u­ta­tion and econ­omy.

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