In the not-so-distant future, Amazon may be establishing flying warehouses. This could mean zeppelin-like aircrafts floating over congested urban areas at an altitude of about 13 km – slightly above the usual cruising altitude for commercial passenger planes. Smaller aircrafts would restock the flying warehouses and supply them with fuel, while drones would take over the delivery of ordered goods. Amazon already documented the concept in a US patent application in April 2016, but word did not get out until the end of the year.
Amazon envisions the various advantages from such a concept: The loaded delivery drones would have low energy demands, because gravitation would allow them to largely rely on gliding flight to reach their destination. Furthermore, the location of the gliding warehouses could be adjusted easily in response to changing demands.