Connect with us

Thailand

Thailand News: Ultralight aircraft to land on river as offering to Thai King

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Four Thailand made single-engine aircraft will soon land on the Chao Phraya River in downtown Bangkok as an offering to His Majesty the King if a Royal Thai Navy (RTN) plan is brought to fruition.

The navy team is hoping to present the experimental two-seat amphibians to the much-loved monarch who has been undergoing treatment in hospital.

Vice Admiral Sommai Prakarnsamut, who heads the naval hydroplane development project, disclosed that he looked up to His Majesty every time he ran into problems or felt discouraged.

“Now that we have successfully created these efficient hydroplanes, we really wish to present them to His Majesty,” Sommai said.

He said Thailand was awarded the right to conduct research on the aircraft in 2007 under a multinational effort. Other countries are engaged in the project for different sizes of hydroplanes.

“We started this research project with an initial budget of 500,000 baht,” he said. “It was progressing quite well until we found out that no pilot wanted to steer our prototype for test flights.”

In 2008, Sommai decided to take a pilot course himself, even though he was already 57 at that time. “I spent 500,000 baht from my own pocket on the course,” he said.

Sommai was the first pilot to conduct test flights for the project.

With his fierce determination, the project has finally taken off and has attracted three more willing pilots.

The Thailand Research Fund and the Defense Ministry have also allocated 12 million baht and 15 million baht, respectively, to the project.

“His Majesty’s self-reliance philosophy inspired me to join this project,” said Captain Kritchaphon Rianglekjamnong, another pilot involved in the endeavor.

His Majesty has encouraged the Navy to develop patrol boats and more equipment on its own instead of importing the supplies. “I’m so proud that this hydroplane has been completely invented by Thais,” Kritchaphon added.

The research team has named its invention, Naval Aircraft Experimental or ‘NAX’.

Each NAX hydroplane weighs 360kg, with the maximum test load of 600kg. It flies at a maximum speed of 90 knots and up to 10,000 feet above the ground. It can take off and land on either land or water.

The NAX 01 and the NAX 03 have already been flown with great efficiency.

On May 19, they will carry out their first mission to survey sea-transport spots for the Transport Ministry.

“These Thai made vehicles can be used for coastal patrols and rescue operations too,” Sommai said.

The construction of NAX 2 will be completed in less than two weeks, while NAX 4 will be ready to take off before the end of 2012.

Although the construction cost of each craft is now about 5 million baht, the cost will drop if more planes are manufactured.

“If we have adequate budget for research and development, we won’t have to spend a lot of money on importing boats and aircraft anymore. Please don’t think that Thais won’t be able to provide quality products,” Sommai said.

Kritchaphon said he had flown many types of aircraft, including those made by foreign countries. “I can tell you that this Thailand made hydroplane is second to none. It is even better in terms of durability, easy-to-use functions, and maintenance – and also lower in terms of production cost.”

— Phuket Gazette / The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of1 hour ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

Thailand1 hour ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of2 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

Best of2 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Girls infected with Covid after mother dies at home; public criticises healthcare system

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus Vaccines4 hours ago

Crowds rush to Bang Sue for vaccination ahead of walk-in registration ending

Coronavirus Thailand5 hours ago

Thai PM predicts current Covid crisis will be over in 2 or 3 weeks – 4 at the most

Coronavirus Vaccines5 hours ago

Health Ministry says all frontline medical workers will get donated Pfizer doses

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Study confirms mixing AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines as good as 2 mRNA doses

Coronavirus Phuket6 hours ago

Officials reluctant to cancel Phuket sandbox, lifeline for desperate locals

Best of6 hours ago

Top 5 art museums in Pattaya

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 16,533 new cases

Best of20 hours ago

Top 5 Wine Bars in Bangkok with Delivery

Best of20 hours ago

The Best Bakeries in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending