Airbus Innovations

Airbus Innovations lets E-aircraft soar.
An exhibit makes the aviation of the day after tomorrow come alive today.

Do you know what ZEHST is? Zero Emission High Speed Transport is the hot topic in the aviation industry. The aerospace company EADS (now called Airbus) founded its own subsidiary which focuses on electric aircraft. VoltAir. And its for this company that we designed and realized an exhibit made up of two models and one multimedia installation in 2011. The name of the aircraft series is E-Fan. The prototype took off successfully in 2014 and the first purely electrically powered series aircraft will become operational in 2017. ZEHST, however, has higher aspirations: The study of the same name describes a hypersonic passenger aircraft that should operate without a negative greenhouse gas balance starting in the 2050s. Visionary. Ambitious. Amazing. And a prime example for assuming business and ecological responsibility. A project that integrates technical perfection and aesthetics with sustainability and environmental awareness. And that demands our full range of craftsmanship services and digital finesse.

Big ideas for big requirements from an amazing customer – that's how we described our concept kickoff. Together, we quickly came to the point: The exhibition had to be haptic and digital, integrated and perfect in its interaction. The small, existing VoltAir and the large, planned ZEHST passenger aircraft received the contextual staging via the multimedia installation that made it easy for the audience to understand the whole. In order to enable them to also take an emotional journey through the future of air travel, we had to convey the background information and content in a manner that was both comprehensible and exciting: We selected a storytelling format that was fluent and holistic. The individual items were made a subject of discussion, without ever losing sight of the context. This content-related and spacial depth allowed the viewers to be immersed in the "Green Flying" experience.


The tailor-made construction and the development of the digital contents for VoltAir and the planned passenger aircraft required quite a bit of finesse. We put our hearts and souls into developing a smooth-running connection between analog models and a digital environment. The boundaries between hardware and software are fluid, lighting effects illustrate the concept that makes the engines work together. Visitors are drawn into what's happening by the arrangement  – without fearing contact with the technology. Rather, the dimension of the total installation and the interactive screens emphatically invite you to overcome the limits between the here and now, and between tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Our conclusion: This is the stuff that exhibition success stories are made of.


The premiere of the exhibition in Le Bourget in 2011 was a total success. Since then, it has been displayed at trade shows and in Group showrooms all over the world. It also meets the requirements of the global company EADS, now called the Airbus : has substance, is extremely ambitious and clarifies the vision from the small details to the large. Just like the obligation to continue actively pushing for sustainability and emissions reduction. For onlookers, "Green Flying" becomes accessible in totally new ways and means. Textual, haptical and emotional. It makes it almost seem as if you could get on board the E aircraft of the day after tomorrow. For this project, this was important to the customer and to us: lasting impressions for a sustainable topic.

Airbus Innovations
Lisa Ködel