AKA Phraya Thayanpikart

by Email from Steve Darke, 1-27-03
     My period of basic research is really 1947 onwards. But a quick check has produced references to early Siamese aviators, from the first Bangkok aviation meeting in January & February 1911, through those who went to France in 1912 (Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut, Captain Luang Arwut Likitkam, and Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat), and beyond. Now, the obvious thought is that Lieutenant Tip is your man. If so, he was later Air Marshal Phraya Thayanpikart.
     The three officers completed their training in August 1913. Sakdi received a military pilot's licence, whilst Arwut and Tip received civilian pilot's certificates from the Aero Club of France.


     If you search the net using Google on "Tip Ketuthat", you will find just one link.
     On this website, you will find an informative revue of the development of aviation in Thailand. "Thailand displayed an active interest in having airplanes for self-protection and air transport. On 28 February 1911, Thailand sent three officers to train in France. They were Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut (Sunee Suwanprateep), Captain Luang Arwut Sikikorn (Long Sinsuk) and First Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat. The three officers attended a flying training course in France where flying was at an advanced stage of development." There are several photographs of historical interest. To access the site, just click on the title above.
by Steve Darke
     On this website, Steve has assembled a wealth of material on the history and present activities of aviation in Thailand. Among other entries dealing with the early history of aviation, you will find access to a website which features the story of a movie, currently in production (1-28-03), entitled:
First Flight

     A brief extract from the synopsis of the movie is quoted from the official website:
     Starring the beautiful 19 year old Thai actress Chompoonut Sawaetwong, this film is about Thailand's "First Flight" (Raak Bin in Thai language). Set before World War I in the early days of aviation, The King of Siam dreams of flying and wants airplanes to come to the Kingdom. Pierre, the pilot, arrives from France to train the Thais how to fly. This is a film about the West meeting the East."
     You will want to read the rest of the synopsis and to enjoy the many photographs which are taken about the movie. It is providential that the movie is being produced at this time, when we are becoming acquainted with the early Thai aviators.
     To access the homepage of the World of Thai Aviation History, just click on the title above.
Notes on the Filming
via email from Steve Darke
     The 'First Flight' film is being shot at the moment, (1-27-03). I know the US pilot who is doing most of the flying, Tom Claytor. Tom is a nice guy; I flew with him last year and he has introduced my 14 year old daughter to the delights of piloting! I am a sort of unofficial, unpaid technical adviser! The two shots on my site are of mockups - the flying is being done in a Cessna 180, with the mockups filmed against a blue screen and later superimposed by some technology which is beyond me.
Wings of Friendship

Webpage designed by
Tom Claytor
     An important and fascinating supplementary story may be found on this website. "Miss Siam" is an OX-5 Travel Air 2000, and was the first private aircraft in Thailand. In 1932, Mr. Luen Pongsobhon flew this aircraft solo from Thailand to China. His flight was repeated on the 70th anniversary of the flight in November, 2002. There is an extensive collection of stories and photographs of this event and I think you will enjoy your visit to the site. In addition, I recommend that you visit Tom Claytor's website by clicking on his name, You will be treated to a fascinating story of his adventurous life as a world-traveling "Bush Pilot."

by Email from Dave Lam, 1-27-03
     Here's a new one, with very little information. A Siamese aviator named Nai-Thip. On December 21, 1912, he was in a collision with another airplane at Villacoublay which led to serious injuries. Dave

I have no information as to his dates of birth or death.
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

BackNext Home