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Amazon has patented a flying warehouse airship for deliveries by drones

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posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:01 PM
I have to admit, I am not really a fan of lighter than air craft. Oh, to be sure, I enjoy hot air balloons and have flown and crewed on them before. They're pretty awesome, but when it comes to zeppelins and airships, I tend to roll my eyes. There is a reason they were largely abandoned back in the day and with helium becoming more and more at a premium price, it has struck me as being even less viable.

Not everyone agrees with me though and there have been multiple attempts to revive the airship for commercial purposes, whether for tourism or cargo lifting or surveillance or communication. It's been tried several times. Always in the hope that tech has improved enough that THIS time will be different. To date, it hasn't been.

Every so often, even with my skepticism, a big player does something...weird.

This time, the Walmart of the Internet, Amazon, is looking to do so.

Amazon's vision is to place airships with cargo in the airspace of metropolitan areas so that drones can deliver goods in minutes.

You want a new iphone? click and an automated system loads it onto a drone and away it goes. A few minutes later, a drone buzzes up and drops it off for you. That's the concept at least.

I can see a number of weird problems with it. I have to wonder if the automated equipment might be heavier than expected. I also wonder about the weather, the ever terrible bane of all airships has been the wind and a lot of metropolitan areas have winds that make airships problem matter. I have to wonder when the first robberies will take place. If Amazon can build a drone for delivery, someone can send a drone up to snatch something. Finally, this thing is supposed to fly at 45k feet. There might be some...issues with that.


posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:07 PM
It will make good target practice lol..

This will never work in America..

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:13 PM
a reply to: anzha

Hmmm I can see the terrorists dropping these in flames on hapless cities across the states. #needtomovetothemountains, #whygodwhy?
edit on 24-7-2018 by BlueJacket because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:13 PM
Give new meaning to storage in the clo☁ud.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:17 PM
first 45k feet won't be an issue since the creation of transponders, and object collision avoidance they are even standard equipment on drones.

Automation equipment is much smaller than what people think..

Weather really isn't an issue.

In fact create a fleet of these and you can do away with ground cell towers the people won't be getting massive amounts of electronic radiation. Except when they're talking on them.

Good idea ?

Who effing knows.

Entirely plausible. YEP!

Hell you could integrate solar panels in to the air frame and make the things totally electric.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:25 PM
Strange airships in the sky??? We need Tesla canons at the ready!!

Gotta love the "make good target practice" comment. Shoot it shoot it. But guns are fine!!

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:35 PM
I can see shady characters with jammers dropping the drones and finding the manna from heaven. The delivery drones will have to descend and ascend to 45k feet but outside of air corridors.

US Mail is fast enough and if immediate gratification is necessary, go to the local Amazon store and pick it up.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:40 PM
a reply to: neo96

You are correct.
I build and fly drones daily at work.
Automation lies in a chip less then 1 cm across.
Self stabilization and position control is provided via Satellite GPS.
Hell slap an active lidar system on the airship and that can act as its early detection collision avoidance.
Airobotics built a sensor swapping, robotic arm that changes out its drones batteries and payload sensors autonomously.

I use active lidar for position control for my underground drone.
It actively scans the area for obstacles down to 2 mm. All the while mapping the area and sending me the point cloud in real time.

Amazon has the worlds best minds at their finger tips. They just need to build the balloon big enough to accommodate the weight of its internal warehouse and have a chunk of airspace designated for their ships.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:53 PM
a reply to: anzha

Cool info, thanks.

When I thought of Amazon's future, I had pictured something like automated delivery vans with drones on top. Both vehicle and drone being robotic and loaded by other robots in the nearest warehouse. Inside the van, robots load the package for the next delivery on the drone. When the van gets to your driveway the drone takes off and drops the package at the door. I still think that seems more likely than the airship, but who knows.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:56 PM
I could hijack one, and become an Air Pirate! Look out Don Karnage!

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 06:58 PM
a reply to: Macenroe82

Airobotics built a sensor swapping, robotic arm that changes out its drones batteries and payload sensors autonomously.

I so effing want one!

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:02 PM
Awesome, not sure who they're going to deliver to once they have killed off all the small businesses.


posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:04 PM
This is a Wepon of the futre!
a big stelth blip that drops 1000 drones with a bomb on each drone.
then they go back for another bome.
high exsplosive, armor, chem or anti personel.
or a drone with a gun.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:06 PM
Put a blimp over every major city with laser defense turrets.

Nukes would be rendered useless.

Unlimited loitering.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:15 PM
a reply to: buddha

Why not make the drone itself a bomb?
Complete with facial recognition for those ...up close and personal house calls.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 07:54 PM
Lighter than Air vehicles do not have to be “blimp”-shaped. A large delta with a Bernoulli-inspired lifting-cell cross section might be more aerodynamic.

Delivery drones needn’t return directly to the airship; they could return to a ground-based collection point.

The “warehouse” section could be detachable once emptied, allowing a restocked unit to be quickly attached and redeployed.

An airship the size of one proposed would be very difficult to “shoot down” even with surface to air or air to air missiles. Helium doesn’t burn and, unless an oxidizer is provided, there is not enough oxygen at 40+ thousand feet to sustain a fire.

posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 08:33 PM
Oh sweet Jesus! Breaking out my 1200 FPS Air Rifle! We'll see where the day takes us!

a reply to: anzha

posted on Jul, 25 2018 @ 12:40 AM
That's the thing about patents. They don't need to work to keep an army of lawyers busy stopping anyone else from making it work. That seems to be the way these massive and controlling companies work.

Forgive the cynicism. For reference the Airlander 10 is the biggest airship around at the moment and that can carry c.10,000 KGs, or 22,000 lbs, It has limited time aloft.


posted on Jul, 26 2018 @ 12:00 AM
a reply to: anzha

im surprised they got this with out any apparent objections from the normal aerospace guys. the military has been working on swarm ideas for drones for a while and this seems like something LM or Boeing would be on top of. one of these with beefier drones that would use solar or some other form of power generation to power/recharge the batteries on the drones and would also be able to rearm them linked up with various ISR assets and the blimps extreme loiter times would be a great tool.

i could see persistent CAS with the same aircrafts being able to deliver supplies to troops in forward positions

maybe that's who amazon is really marketing to, the defence guys.

flew in 2013
edit on 26-7-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 26 2018 @ 05:13 AM
So what happens when stocks run out on the airship or there's some faulty in a mechanism that allows drones to be dispached. seems like a waste of time to me

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