AKA Sunee Suwanprateep
AKA Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut

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 Sikikorn (Long Sinsuk) and First 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 "Sunee Suwanprateep", you will find one very important link.
Heroes : Suphanburi
Air Marshal Phraya Chaloem-Agard
     On this page, which is to be found on the English version of The Golden Jubilee Network website, initiated by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, you find a beautiful picture of the Air Marshal along with a very nice summary of his life and career. To access it, just click on the title, above.
     If you search the net using Google for "Sakdi", you will find about five links. The following are among the most helpful.
     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.
     On this website, you will find a concise and informative revue of the development of aviation in Thailand from 1911 to 1939. There is mention of the flight of Van den Born as well as reference to the fact that "in 1912, Major Luang Sakdisanlayawut earned the first pilot's license issued to a Thai aviator." There are a few, tiny photos of 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."
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 is planned to be repeated in early 2003. 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, 1-28-03
     Sakdi was born in April, 1887 in Bangkok, He earned License # 1090, October 22, 1912 in a Breguet. 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