Amazon is considering using giant air- ships carrying fleets of flying drones to deliver goods and food to its customers. The company has submitted detailed plans for storage depots in the sky which will hover over towns and cities at 45,000ft as drones buzz back and forth to customers.
The ships could speed up deliveries of goods around the world if they are built. A patent lodged in the US by Amazon suggests that a fleet of support ships would be used to restock the structures in the air.
Detailed drawings show that the warehouses would be carried by airships similar in design to Zeppelins which were used by Germany to bomb Britain in the First World War. They could be flown near sporting events or festivals where they would sell food or souvenirs to spectators.
The patent suggests the world's biggest online retailer is planning to increase its use of unmanned flying vehicles to make deliveries. Earlier this month it made the first successful UK delivery using a drone to ship a parcel to a customer in Cambridge.
In the documents, Amazon said the combination of drones and flying warehouses, which it calls 'airborne fulfilment centres', would deliver goods much more quicklythan its current shipping times using couriers and normal, ground-based warehouses. The drones would use almost no power gliding down to make deliveries, the patent said.
And they could even bring ready meals. It suggests smaller airships could act as shuttles taking drones, supplies and even workers to and from the larger hubs. It is not clear whether the designs will ever make it off paper to reality.
Amazon's patent was filed in late 2014 but has only now come to light after technology analyst Zoe Leavitt, from the business website CB Insights, unearthed the documents. As well as being the largest online shop Amazon last year overtook Walmart to become the US's biggest retailer. Daily Mail
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