December 30, 2016 11:23 am

Amazon files patent for flying warehouses

Patent filings made by tech giant Amazon details plans for what the company calls an airborne fulfillment center, such as an airship or blimp, stocked with products that would float at about 17,000 metres.

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Amazon.com has filed for a patent to use airships to store products and serve as a base for delivery-drones.

The patent application was filed two years ago but was spotted only on Wednesday by Zoe Leavitt, an analyst at technology data and research firm CB Insights.

According to the patent filing, drones launched from the so-called “airborne fulfillment centers” (AFCs) would use far less power than those launched from the ground.

The AFCs would hover at about 45,000 feet (13,700 metres) and be restocked and resupplied by “shuttles or smaller airships.”

Amazon, which was not immediately available for comment, has laid out plans to start using drones for deliveries next year.

© 2016 Thomson Reuters

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