According to latest reports online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has applied for a patent for flying warehouses which through the fleet of drones can make deliveries to its customers.
Reports said that a patent document filed in 2014 in the US defines giant airships as “airborne fulfilment centres” (AFCs) that could be located above metropolitan areas and used to store and quickly transport items at times of high demand, using drones shipped directly from the airship.
In UK Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is already trialing drone deliveries, and made its first money-making delivery under the experiment in Cambridgeshire this month.
Meanwhile the filing also suggests smaller aircraft and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could take workers to and from the airship as well as refill stock.
“The AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (eg 45,000ft) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user-designated delivery locations,” the filing reads.
“As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user-specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.”
Furthermore most of the companies testing with drone technology have had trouble increasing the range of the craft, which can be limited by the size and mass of the battery. Amazon’s UK drone trial is limited to items weighing 5lb or less that can be delivered within 30 minutes.
The technology and e-commerce firm’s patent filing says that the variable position of an airborne warehouse could be utilized to encounter demand in different areas as needed, as well as cut delivery times. The filing also says that in some occasions airships could be moved close to sporting stadiums or festival sites and used to sell merchandise.