Changi Airport History News

Changi Airport T2’s iconic flip board to be showcased at the National Museum

One of the decommissioned iconic 'Solari boards' from Changi Airport's T2 check-in hall will be on display at an upcoming National Museum exhibition.

Back in January 2020, Changi Airport announced that the popular and iconic ‘Solari boards’ or flip board flight displays housed at Singapore’s Terminal 2 check-in hall were set to be retired, due to work commencing on a complete revamp of the facility the following month.

The flip board between check-in rows 9 and 10 was the first to go in February 2020, while the one between rows 3 and 4 had some temporary reprieve, since the facility’s renovation was due to be completed in phases.


Unfortunately, the sudden onset of COVID-19 soon put pay to that.

In early May 2020 Terminal 2 was the first to be shuttered following an almost complete decimation of passenger traffic through the airport.

That sealed the fate of the second flip board, well before its intended retirement, since Changi Airport needed to press on with the terminal’s renovation and could not realistically incorporate the displays in the new design due to costly maintenance and increasing difficulty in securing parts.

About the flip board displays

The two flip board displays in the T2 check-in hall, also known as split-flap displays or ‘Solari boards’ after Italian display manufacturer Solari di Udine, were the only two remaining at Changi Airport by 2020, and had been a feature of the Terminal 2 check-in hall since 1999.

The flip board between check-in rows 3 and 4. (Photo: Normand Fernandez / Shutterstock)

Each character on the board is powered by motors rotating at five flaps per second, which is what created that signature ‘clacking’ sound as the flight information was regularly refreshed.

According to the Singapore National Heritage Board, who have received a section of one of the two flip boards as a donation from Changi Airport Group, just this single section has over 2,000 individual panels.

The insides of a single-character module in the flip board, with 64 flaps and a motor system. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

The flip board was even used to welcome home Singapore’s first Olympic Gold medal winner Joseph Schooling in August 2016 (six years before he hit the headlines for slightly different reasons!).

Happier times for the Solari board… and for Joseph Schooling! (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

By far the most important aspect of these flip boards (of course!) was that they were the inspiration for the Mainly Miles logo!

Our own logo is inspired by the Solari flip board design

Museum donation

In March 2020 one of the two Solari boards formerly installed in the T2 check-in hall was donated to the National Heritage Board, accessioning to Singapore’s National Collection.


This particular flip board was the one between rows 9 and 10 of T2’s check-in hall, and was officially decommissioned over three years ago, at 11.30pm on 6th February 2020.

The flip board in the National Museum appears to be the middle panel of the trio that used to hang above check-in rows 9 and 10 at Terminal 2. (Photo: Sorbis / Shutterstock)

It has now been announced that this display will be showcased at an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum.

“Changi’s iconic flight information display flip boards that were used at T2 Departure Hall… will be part of the ‘Now Boarding: Experiencing Singapore through Travel’ exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, launching in May 2023.”

Changi Airport Facebook

The travel exhibition will run from Saturday 27th May 2023 to Sunday 19th November 2023, and also promises to showcase “Singapore’s rich history of travellers from the 1800s to the 2000s and [examine] the nation’s identity through the lens of travel as a visual language”, according to The Straits Times.

The flip board will take centre stage at the museum’s rotunda, where visitors are first welcomed, and installation is already in progress this week.

The flip board display being installed at the National Museum’s rotunda. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

More details about this exhibition are due to be announced soon, but it sounds interesting and we will certainly be making a visit while it’s running, especially with this fantastic centrepiece – now reminiscent of the pre-COVID travel era!

This addition to the museum comes after Singapore Airlines donated a 2007 Suites seat and 2006 Business Class seat to the National Collection back in October 2022, to preserve them as artefacts for future generations.

It was also mentioned at the time that these seats would be showcased in an exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore in 2023.

While it’s not confirmed at this stage, it would be great to see these too form part of the upcoming travel exhibition at the museum, which would certainly attract even more of the AvGeeks and SIA fans!

The National Museum will also showcase SIA’s 2006 and 2007 premium seat products this year – iconic in their own right. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)


AvGeeks and regular travellers alike will no doubt be drawn to an upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore from 27th May this year, focusing on travel from the 1800s through to the 2000s, and featuring one of the popular ‘Solari’ flip board displays from Changi Airport Terminal 2 at the rotunda.

The Solari flip board being installed at the National Museum. (Photo: Changi Airport Group)

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Singapore Airlines 2007 Suite and 2006 Business Class seat, also part of the National Collection, may also make an appearance at the exhibition.

(Cover Photo: Changi Airport Group)


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