Flying fascinates young and old alike and Vienna International Airport is therefore not only an attraction for passengers but also for visitors without a boarding pass. In 2018, more than 160,000 people came to see the visitor center at Austria’s largest airport where guests are taken on a tour to see how an airport operates, culminating in the multimedia experience room.


The fully automated tours see participants guided through several themed multimedia areas that simulate 24-hour operations at the airport. In the course of this tour, they can follow a suitcase’s journey from check-in to loading into the cargo hold in fast motion or experience the world of air traffic controllers in the tower and the pilots in the cockpit up close.

Goal: Perfect images from an ultra-short distance
For the large-scale projection in the “cockpit” area, the operators relied on 6 x Christie DHD850-GS laser projectors with UST 0.36 ultra-short throw lenses. Christie partner Panatronic GmbH from Vienna, specialized in the planning and conception of AV technology projects, supplied and installed the equipment.

The projectors are in a semicircle on the floor less than a meter from the back wall. Each delivers a 2.10-meter wide image (not taking into account the blending zones) thus providing one single overall picture with the panoramic view of a cockpit.

The control and content feed takes place via a central server with content management system installed and six PCs, which connect to the respective projectors. A curved screen serves as the projection surface.

“Due to the size of the projection screen, the low construction depth and the curvature of the screen, we had to work with ultra-short throw lenses. The projectors are virtually located directly behind the screen and the projection beam is directed upwards,” said Roman Binder, Managing Director of Panatronic.

Despite the minimum projection distance and the short viewing distance of the visitors on the other side of the screen of the cockpit simulation, the wide-angle lenses with ultra-short distance provide a uniform image.

Peter Bast, Technical Director of Christie, who supported Panatronic in configuring the projectors, added, “The curvature of the screen is really extreme on this installation; perfect warping of the images was essential.”

The Christie DHD850-GS comes with a raster-based warping and blending processor that supports the configuration of even complex large projections with difficult spatial conditions. The integrated Christie BoldColor Technology ensures precise color reproduction without loss of brightness.

Cockpit experience in continuous operation
Guest groups are guided through the four multimedia rooms several times a day. “This is no problem for the projectors, they are designed for continuous operation,” said Binder. He stated that the flexible installation options with portrait orientation and quiet operation were also decisive in choosing Christie.

The result is impressive: Shortly after the opening of the new visitor center, a large fan community was enthusiastic about the theme concept and technical implementation.

The advantages of the laser projection with its vivid colours and integrated configuration possibilities  in combination with the new ultra-short throw lens  ensures the ‘wow effect for all age groups’ that artist Thomas Brezing, the creative mind behind the concept of the new world of experience, wishes for visitors, is implemented as realistically as possible.