The old sound of international travel

There is something still so incredibly cool about analogue machines.

Travelling internationally used to be a unique experience, filled with unmistakable sounds and rituals.

One of the most iconic artefacts from the bygone era of airports was the old Solari board - the massive, analogue flight board of hundreds of little flaps that buzzed and whirred as planes, flying to all corners of the globe, took off and landed.

The still existing split-flap Solari board at Frankfurt International Airport

As these old icons of air travel are increasingly replaced by silent, electronic boards - the old analogue ones are ending up in executive lounges as prized works of art.

As much as it obviously makes sense for airports to go digital, there is something still so incredibly cool about analogue machines and the old-school nostalgia that they create by their existence.

Airports that still make use of old boards stand out amidst the digital conformity of modern screens and silent digital sterility.

Solari boards: The disappearing sound of airports
Inside airports, old-school departure boards are falling silent. Outside, it’s a different story.
Disappearing icon of airport design finds new life in Qantas lounges - Runway Girl
Qantas is incorporating the “Solari board” into its premium airport lounges as fine art.