Royal Orchid - The History of Civil Aviation in Thailand, by Stephen M Darke with Dr Virachai Vannukul
Despite the country’s long and rich aeronautical heritage, Royal Orchid - The History of Civil Aviation in Thailand is the first significant and detailed study of its subject.
The development of the various Thai airlines from the days of war-surplus Dakotas, C-54s and Catalinas to the current Boeings and Airbuses is readably documented. Along the way there have been numerous crises - political, environmental, commercial and managerial which the authors explain.
More than 380 photographs, the majority in colour and in print for the first time, provide a vivid impression of the many types, including light aircraft, and their varied colour schemes, that have operated in Thailand since the 1940s. Ample use is made of tables to document route and equipment developments.
Historians will particularly value the 76-page complete Thai civil aircraft register. This section benefited from exclusive access to original hand-written records found in the Thai Department of Civil Aviation - documents which unfortunately have since been destroyed. A fascinating insight into a neglected yet highly significant topic.