Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No It’s The Appliances Online Blimp
Built by the Van Wagner Airship Group, the Appliances Online Legendary Blimp will come up to Sydney in December. It’s illuminated from inside by two 1,000 watt light bulbs, making it highly visible during night flights. At 39 metres long and 11 metres wide, it’s the largest and only blimp currently flying in the Southern hemisphere.
With a round-the-clock ground support crew, the Appliances Online Lightship keeps in constant contact with Air Traffic Controllers all over the country during its flights.
CEO of Appliances Online, John Winning, said that as well as flying the flag for Appliances Online, the blimp represents the company’s optimism about the future of retail: “It’s an exciting time for retailers and the Appliances Online Legendary Blimp symbolises our confidence in the Australian economy and our dedication to pushing boundaries to reach new heights as an Australian retailer.”
“Having recently won a world retail award for Best Customer Experience of the year, we’ve proved the standard of our customer service is at a world-high; we really do go above and beyond for our customers,”
Blimps have the best safety record of any type of aircraft, and, in time, there will be opportunities for members of the public to travel in it.
“The Appliances Online Legend Blimp is similar to an airplane. It has aircraft engines on each side, and is flown by professional pilots supported by a full ground crew. When flying, the Appliances Online Blimp Crew meets passengers at the airport, provides them with a comfortable seat for their flight, landing securely on the Lightship’s single-point landing gear after their trip,” Winning said.
The blimp usually travels at an average of 30mph but has gone as fast as 57mph in a tailwind. With a strong headwind it’s nearly stationary having flown as slow as 1mph under these conditions.
Now it’s up, the blimp will stay up. Unlike a hot air balloon it never actually gets deflated. When on the ground it is tethered to a special mooring mast erected at the airfield. When it relocates to other cities, it flies, for example taking around a week to travel from Melbourne to Sydney.
Some amazing facts about the Appliances Online Blimp: it’s the size of three school buses end-to-end; it uses less fuel in two weeks than a 747 does on thr runway; the helium inside it would fill up 136,000 party balloons; it never gets deflated and when on the ground it is monitored by a member of the ground crew 24 hours a day; and it flies at an average speed of 30mph, but can travel faster if it has a tailwind, and slower if it has a headwind.