Picture this: Atlanta, 2017… you’re outside watering your lawn when an ominous shadow looms overhead. You look up and squint in the bright sunlight. You can’t believe your eyes…
There, hovering overhead is a gigantic blimp. As your jaw drops, a small door opens on the side of the blimp and a tiny drone flies out. The drone glides silently above the treetops and lands gently on your next door neighbor’s driveway. A few seconds later, the drone lifts off, leaving a small package behind.
No, this isn’t a Sci Fi TV movie script. Amazon has patented a giant flying warehouse that will deploy hundreds of drones to deliver lightweight packages in every major city.
The blimp will act as a launching pad for the drones that will float at an altitude of 45,000 feet (so as not to panic the citizenry).
The drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), will glide down from a cruising altitude of 200 feet to quietly deliver packages. Amazon has already tested the technology with successful home deliveries via UAVs. Soon, the skies will be humming with UAVs delivering packages to your city.
Expect reports of stolen and, or damaged UAVs, as children take them for toys and attempt to catch one while it’s still on the ground.
CNBC — “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 drones would be able to communicate with each other via a mesh network to give information such as weather and route. UAVs could also recharge on the airship.
No word on whether Amazon has a backup plan if a drone malfunctions and drops a package on someone’s head.