Once upon a time, a blimp was the most exquisite way to travel. Today, blimps are more for show above major sporting events than anything else. But Amazon could be prepared to make blimps a key part of their drone delivery services in the future.

Imagine having an Amazon warehouse floating through your town using the power of helium. It could become a reality, as Amazon has received a patent for “aerial fulfillment centers,according to Inverse. Those fulfillment centers would be blimps floating 45,000 feet in the sky packed with various Amazon merchandise. Workers aboard the blimp would then load up drones and prepare them for drone delivery to make the delivery service as fast and efficient as possible.

The technical jargon used in the patent basically can be translated like this: Amazon blimps are stocked with merchandise expected to be commonly ordered based on the time of year, and drones designed to basically to land near the drop-off point of the placed order are deliver the goods, then return to the blimp for their next delivery. The drones making these deliveries are slightly different from the drones currently being deployed by Amazon for its first drone deliveries, but the concept is, in principle, the same. These drones essentially just drop from the sky using gravity to guide them to their destination from the blimp (it’s presumably way more scientific and supposedly safer than how I just described it), which floats around a region ready to ship goods as quickly as possible.

This gets even crazier, because that Amazon warehouse in the sky isn’t touching down to restock its inventory. Shuttle drones would be used to drop off loads of new inventory, in addition to transporting the workers that take care of business in the sky. So we’d have one blimp floating in the sky with all the Amazon merchandise you can imagine, with shuttle blimps taking workers to their jobs of stocking drones for deliveries.

What a world.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.