Amazon has plans to use an air blimp as a flying warehouse to launch drones for delivery. The company has been awarded a patent for the flying warehouse which is described as an “airborne fulfillment center”.
The warehouse would float at an altitude of 45,000 and be stocked of products. The products would then be delivered via drone, potentially within minutes. When a customer orders a product, a drone, using little power, would glide down and fly to its destination.
“When the UAV departs the AFC, it may descend from the high altitude of the AFC using little or no power other than to guide the UAV towards its delivery destination and/or to stabilize the UAV as it descends,” the patent filing explains.
The airship would be refueled using a shuttle, so that means it would be constantly airborne.
While the patent may have gone through, getting permission will be complex and may take awhile for approval so we may not be seeing these anytime soon.