Wackett, Lawrence J.
Broadsmith won the 1924 Low-Powered Aeroplane Competition with his design and the second prize was won by L. J. Wackett with his Warbler aircraft, powered by the Wizard engine, also designed by Wackett.
Lawrence J. Wackett (later Sir Lawrence) started his career in the Australian Flying Corps in the First World War and saw service in Egypt; when the R.A.A.F. was formed in 1921 Wackett decided to move into aircraft design and development and, after a short professional training period, persuaded the then Defence Minister, R. K. Bowden, to set up a R.A.A.F. Experimental Aircraft Station at Randwick, in order to develop aircraft suitable for Australian conditions.
The first design was the Widgeon 1, a flying boat, followed by a much larger amphibian, the Widgeon 11, powered by a 440 hp A.S. Jaguar engine. In 1927, the Widgeon 11 undertook a 9,000 mile flight around Australia.
Two other aircraft were developed at Randwick to the prototype stage: Warrigal I (a trainer) and Warrigal II a single seat fighter. As a result of a government-sponsored report, the Randwick Station was closed in 1931: Wackett resigned from the R.A.A.F. and transferred, with some personnel and equipment to Cockatoo Dockyard. He continued working for the R.A.A.F. but also undertook several civilian projects including the Codock, a six passenger twin engined airliner, commissioned by Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.
In 1934, Wackett and some of his staff moved again, to the Tugan Aircraft Company at Mascot, where the Codock design was developed into the Gannett a six/seven passenger airliner, which provided service with the R.A.A.F. and with small airlines in N.S.W. Eight Gannetts were completed when the Tugan Company was taken over to form the nucleus of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Melbourne.