Launching Visitors in to Orbit with Airbus


INITION was approached by Airbus Defence and Space UK to create an inspiring showstopper for the Space Arena at Farnborough International Airshow, July 2018.

The world-leading aerospace company wanted us to create an interactive experience that would uniquely showcase the organisation’s UK based cutting-edge space capabilities. The challenge was to tell this story through an outstanding piece of content that would engage both field experts and the public alike.


We launched Elev_8, a space elevator that takes visitors on an interactive trip into space, to find out more about Airbus’ latest satellites and science missions: Biomass, Inmarsat and Solar Orbiter. Passengers are rocketed into orbit, discovering the satellites’ journey from design, manufacture and launch.

Using the Airbus Portsmouth satellite manufacturing site as a key location, we filmed content in panoramic 360 to create an immersive experience. This depicted the innovative and technical skills that go into this form of advanced engineering, demonstrating that Airbus is a world-leader in providing geo-stationary telecommunications satellites, boasting 25% of market share in this sector.

We combined the video footage with sophisticated computer graphics (CGI), so visitors found themselves part of an awe-inspiring real-time voyage, whilst learning more about the three space missions. This breath-taking experience was delivered through the bespoke-built elevator, an installation which the INITION team designed and built from scratch.


The space elevator was launched at the Space zone of Farnborough International Airshow and was a huge success with more than 1250 visitors embarking upon the Elev_8 journey, from children through to trade professionals, including Major Tim Peake CMG, European Space Agency astronaut. Each experience lasted for 6.5 minutes and ran from 9-5pm over the full 7 days of the show. The 4D reality of the space elevator enabled everyone to experience Airbus’ ingenuity and manufacturing capabilities in the UK.

“It was awesome, you felt like you were really up in space”

Thanks to the positive reaction to this engaging and educational experience, Airbus are taking the Elev_8 to future trade shows and increasing the exposure of this unique activation. In addition, they will be using it as a medium to showcase other parts of Airbus Defence and Space activities.

Laura Balibrea-Coyle – Marketing and Regional Sales at Airbus in the UK added “Airbus Elev_8 is a creative experience that showcases Airbus’ space capabilities in a digital, interactive and thought-provoking way by taking individuals or groups through Airbus space’s competencies into outer space.

“Working with Will and the team to deliver this project was great. With tight time scales, the team’s collaborative and flexible approach allowed us to present Airbus Elev_8 at Farnborough International Airshow.”