Airplane Images that Inspire Flights of Fancy

April 7, 2016 / 2 Comments

MIA travel posters montageImages that celebrate what’s great about aviation and travel prompt me to write this brief post today. Miami International Airport announces it has just opened a display of vintage travel posters at its busy Terminal D.

“Faster, Farther and More Comfortable Than Ever Before” is an exhibit of 20 posters from 1900-1930, part of a much larger collection at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University. This sub group will be exhibited at the center of MIA’s North Terminal, by gate D-31.

“We are proud to expose our passengers to the revolution of transportation that took place in this era through this unique collection of posters at MIA,”  said Yolanda Sánchez, the exhibit’s curator and director of fine art at the airport.

Pan Am S-42Revolution is right. In the three decades represented in the exhibit, the world went from no airplanes at all, to the establishment of several commercial airlines, Pan American, KLM Royal Dutch, Colombia’s Avianca, the Czech Republic’s Czech Airlines, Qantas and United among them.

The posters are bright, bold and happy, as if to provide a counterbalance to the complaints that dominate any discussion of air travel today. Check out the gallery if you are traveling through Miami, for a jolt of cheery nostalgia.

Yep, we’ve come a long way and so has global aviation. Christine Garner, a plane spotter/aviation enthusiast (is that redundant?) living in St. Maarten was reminded of that recently.  She was having a normal afternoon at Maho Beach right off the west end of runway 10 at Princess Juliana International Airport, when a four engine airliner appeared in the distance. Not anticipating either the KLM Boeing 747 that arrives three times a week or the Air France A340, she picked up her camera and started snapping as it approached.

“I had absolutely no idea what I had photographed until I looked at my LCD screen on the camera” she told me in an email but look at what she caught…

Photo by Christine Garner St. Maarten

Photo by Christine Garner St. Maarten

an Azerbaijan Airbus A340 flying low – as they do – over the heads of swimmers and worshipers at the international temple of wingnuts. Azerbaijan Airlines seems to be offering a regular, if unscheduled charter flight between Baku and St. Maarten this Spring.

Many in St. Maarten will be pleased to add this plane with the beautiful cobalt blue livery to the list of anticipated arrivals.

My full story on the aviation mecca that is St. Maarten will be featured in an upcoming issue of Air & Space, complete with more great photos from Chris and details of my own two afternoons on the beach with tips on how to make the pilgrimage, if it is on your wish list.

Until then, enjoy Chris’s drop-dead-gorgeous photos. Here’s hoping between her art and those from the last century, you’ll embark on a private flight of fancy that that allows you to relive some happy air travel memories.


© Chris Garner Photography 2015

© Chris Garner Photography 2015

© Chris Garner Photography 2014 All Rights Reserved

© Chris Garner Photography 2014 All Rights Reserved

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Categories: Flying Lessons

2 responses to “Airplane Images that Inspire Flights of Fancy”

  1. The paint scheme on that A340 hurts my eyes. What a monstrous livery.
    That’s an A340-500 by the way, the ultra long-haul variant that you hardly ever see. The -500 was a bust for Airbus; they only sold a handful. Looks like at least one of them ended up in Azerbaijan.

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