Beacon Transcript – A recent find has revealed some of Amazon’s future plans in the commercial drone market as the carrier wants to deposit such devices in flying warehouses.
Earlier this week, an investigator stumbled upon a quite unexpected patent request. Amazon technologies Inc. was seen to have filled the U.S. patent number 9,305,280.
This involves the construction and future use of AFCs. AFCs reportedly are aerial fulfillment centers. Basically, they would come to be flying warehouses.
Such deposits would hold UAVs, more commonly known as drones. UAVs are unmanned aerial vehicles and a potential new delivery method.
Tests have already been carried out so as to determine their efficiency. Several international companies are targeting drones as their next delivery method. Starbucks are UPS are amongst those competing in the commercial drone race.
But 7-Eleven came up as the winner. The supply chain store has reported a number of drone deliveries, carried out throughout November.
Nonetheless, Amazon is not far behind. Earlier this week, the international carrier reported its first successful tests. These were carried out in the United Kingdom through the “Prime Air” service.
The flying warehouses patent is also a recent discovery. But it appears to be an old plan. It was granted on April 5 and was initially submitted on behalf of its inventors.
These are Kelsey Lynn Blodgett, Scott Isaacs, and Paul William Berg. Technical specifications have also been offered. AFCs should be able to float permanently. They will be a sort of warehouse blimp.
The flying warehouses would be kept in working condition by other shuttles. These smaller airships would have a variety of utilizations. Shuttles would be used so as to replenish the AFC stock.
Stocks would include anything from the fuel to UAVs. Supplies and products would also be included on the shipment list.
The flying warehouses would not be abandoned by humans. Workers could utilize the said shuttles so as to travel to and from the AFC.
Amazon’s AFCs’ main purpose would be their UAV storage capacity. More exactly, they could come to serve as a resting and stocking place for them. These, in turn, would be used so as to deliver customer goods.
Such drones would take advantage of their aerial house. Patent reports state that they would be using gravity as a propeller. As such, they would hardly be using any energy. Such UAVs would adjust their course through minor aerodynamic shifts.
Amazon’s flying warehouses would fly or float at about 45,000 feet up in the air. But this may be the first of the quite many more issues with their AFCs.
Back in June, this year, the United States Federal Aviation Administration announced new UAV rules. These stated that the devices can fly autonomously. However, they must do so in their pilot’s line of sight.
As such, the Amazon AFC would be unable to comply with such a rule. This is just one of the many more question posed by such a project. The flying warehouses are indeed a novel idea.
Still, there will be some that will question their viability. Others will contest their efficiency. And the flying warehouses in themselves would come with technical difficulties.
Nonetheless, blimps have been known to work. As history recounts, they once were an innovative, efficient technology on their own.
They were used for quite a number of years during dire times. As they were used for restocking purposes, history might attest to their efficiency.
As it is, it remains to be seen if Amazon will fulfill its flying warehouses dreams. For the moment, tests are still necessary so as to ensure a base for a commercial drone delivery system.
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