BANGKOK, 28 March 2012 (NNT) – Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Commander ACM Itthiporn Supawong has announced that a celebration will be held from April to July this year to mark the 100th anniversary of Thai aviation.
At the Royal Thai Air Force Flying Training School in Nakhon Pathom province, ACM Itthiporn presided over the launch of the “Centennial of RTAF Forefathers’ Aviation” to mark the 100th anniversary of aviation in Thailand. The Air Force Commander explained that the history of Thai aviation dated back to the times of King Rama VI.
Back then, the Far East Aviation Company held an airshow by a Belgian pilot during January 31 to February 6, 1910. Impressed by the airshow, the Thai Defense Ministry sent three officers – Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut (Sunee Suwanprateep), Captain Luang Arwut Sikikorn (Long Sinsuk) and First Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat – to train in France. Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut became the first Thai person to handle an aircraft on July 2, 1912. Thus, the day has been marked as an important date on the Thai aviation calendar.
HRH Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanadh, who was the Chief of Staff of the Royal Siamese Army during that period, viewed aircrafts as a necessary instrument in the defense of the country. Giving his full support to aviation, HRH Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanadh later became known as the “Father of the Royal Thai Air Force”.
On this occasion, the RTAF held an airshow to demonstrate different aircraft models, including Gripen 39 C, F- 16A and other training aircrafts. It also took the opportunity to officially launch its first aerobatics fleet consisting of five Blue Phoenixes.
The celebration of the Centennial of RTAF Forefathers’ Aviation is scheduled to take place in various venues across Thailand, including the RTAF’s Wing 41 in Chiang Mai Province (April 17-20), the RTAF’s Wing 23 in Udon Thani Province (May 15-18), the RTAF museum in Bangkok (June 22) and Don Muang Airport (June 29 – July 2).
Read more: NNT