Thursday, January 31, 2008
Thailand's First Flight
In a time of innocence, when East meets West, this is a story of dreams and courage in the skies of Siam..."
FIRST FLIGHT is the story of the early history of aviation in the Kingdom of Siam. In the year 1912, Lieutenant Colonel Luang Kaj Yuthakarn was one of three Thais sent to learn flying at the Flying Training School in France. Upon his return, the Flying Division was established in Siam making it the first country in Asia to have a aviation program. Luang Kaj encountered many obstacles in this effort, not the least of which was the resistance from members of the Royal family who thought it was nonsense. Luang Kaj persevered. First, he had to train his own pilots with the help of Pierre Pupong, his friend and former flight instructor from France. His students were five commissioned officers and one non-commissioned officer. The non-commissioned officer is a farm boy. Someone from such humble origins would normally never have a chance to be a pilot, but FIRST FLIGHT is a film about the "Power of a Dream." It is about Luang Kaj's dream to have an aviation program in Siam. It is about Duong's dream to fly, and it is about a meeting of two cultures. The aircraft and Pierre come from the West, and Siam is in the East. Through the four months of hard training and the interaction of these flying cadets, we learn about Thai culture and the challenges of early aviators. These are the days when airplanes were made of wood, and the pilots were made of iron. This is a film that should make Thai and French people proud of their aviation history and should inspire young people to believe in the power of their dreams. FIRST FLIGHT is the first Thai movie to use real aerials in its production, and it is a living tribute the dreams and courage of the aviation pioneers in the Kingdom of Siam.