Amazon flying warehouses
In December 2016, it came to light that the online retail giant Amazon had filed a patent for massive flying warehouses that could be used to assist and house a fleet of delivery drones.
Originally filed in 2014, the patent refers to the warehouses as ‘airborne fulfilment centres’ (AFCs) kept aloft by airships.
Although Amazon has refused to comment on the patent, the details involve AFCs being stationed above major cities, storing items for rapid delivery at peak times. Drones dispatched from the AFCs would glide downwards to a user-specified delivery location rather than fly, using little-to-no power. The drones are said to be capable of cruising and hovering at altitudes of up to 14,000 m (45,000 ft).
Areas where lots of merchandise is sold but there is difficult access, such as sporting arenas or music festivals, are highlighted as being places where AFCs could be of most use.
Despite Amazon being reluctant to comment, it has been widely reported that they are developing delivery drone capabilities. A video released in 2015 showed the latest versions of their flying robots undergoing testing. Packages weighing up to 2.2 kg (5 lb) were reported as being deliverable in 30 minutes using drones capable of travelling up to 15 miles.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Four practical tips to bring sustainability into your building design.
Have a look at these designs for a new cross-laminated timber tower in Toronto.
Geniebelt examine the urgent need for change in construction.
Read our introductory article to the contractor's design portion.
Four ways in which smart cities could make our lives better.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new Greener City Fund in drive to make London the first 'National Park City'.
BSRIA announce UKAS accreditation for sound absorption testing.
The full terms of reference are published for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Read our introductory article into the role and practice of the architect.
Despite dividing opinion since its 1955 completion, Stalin's gift to Poland, the PKiN, is still Warsaw's most recognisible landmark.
Graduate Engineer Brittany Harris asks, what makes a great place to work?
Mayor Sadiq Khan publishes new guidance aimed at fast-tracking affordable housing projects through planning.