Since embarking on its first major TV advertising campaign earlier this year, Appliances Online is continuing to lift its public profile with a newly acquired ‘Legendary Blimp’ recently making its first maiden flight from Riddells Creek Airfield in Victoria.

Built by the Van Wagner Airship Group, the dirigible is 39 metres long and 11 metres wide and is illuminated from inside by two 1,000-watt  lightbulbs, making it visible at night. Appliances Online say it’s the only blimp currently flying in the Southern Hemisphere.

The blimp is not only a marketing tool, it’s also a symbol for the company’s optimism about the future of retail, according to CEO John Winning.

“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.”

Weather permitting, there will be opportunities for members of the public to fly in the blimp, which travels at an average speed of 48 kilometres per hour. It has traveled as fast 90 kilometres per hour with a tailwind and as slow as 1.6 kilometres per hour with a strong headwind. It takes around a week to travel from Melbourne to Sydney via blimp.

Winning explains the process:

“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.”

UPDATE: Appliances Online is running a competition around the blimp, called Spot the #LegendBlimp. Entrants must snap a photo of the Legend Blimp as it flies around Sydney or Melbourne in the next few weeks and upload it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LegendBlimp and to go into the draw to win a $100 Appliances Online voucher. This promotion will raise brand awareness, connect Appliances Online to its customers and provide crowd-sourced images that the brand can use to promote itself further.

The Appliance Online Legandary Blimp in its hangar
The Appliance Online Legandary Blimp in its hangar

Other blimp fun facts include:

  • It uses less fuel in 2 weeks than a 747 does on the 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