Safeskies Australia president emeritus Peter Lloyd has presented the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) with an historic propeller from a Supermarine Walrus aircraft.
The aviation veteran, who in 2016 received the nation’s highest civil honour when he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), presented the propeller to the ATSB at its Canberra headquarters on April 27.
ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood said the propeller from the single-engine amphibious biplane is a significant piece of Australian aviation history.
“It was operated by the Fleet Air Arm and also served with the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF),” Hood said in a statement.
“It was the first British squadron-service aircraft to incorporate in one airframe a fully retractable main undercarriage, completely enclosed crew accommodation and all-metal fuselage.”
The Walrus was designed by RJ Mitchell, who would go on to design the famed Spitfire fighter. Developed in response to an RAAF requirement and originally named the Seagull V, the aircraft first flew in 1933.
“Designed for use as a fleet spotter to be catapult launched from cruisers or battleships, the Walrus was later employed in a variety of other roles, most notably as a rescue aircraft for downed aircrew. It continued in service throughout the Second World War.”
Hood thanked Lloyd for his years of championing aviation safety both in Australia and abroad and his generosity in donating the propeller.
In addition to being president emeritus of international air safety conference Safeskies Australia and a World War 2 veteran, Lloyd is also the honorary Governor of the Australian Air Sport Confederation and President of Honour of the world air sport controlling body, Federation Aeronautique Internationale.