I want to see this happen, and I'm sure that many of the same concerns Amazon has are the ones I have thought of, and I'm also sure there are others I haven't considered. Specifically, this is what I am concerned about:
- Liability (crashes, lost devices, incidental and consequential damages to property, accidental impact with a human or animal)
- Navigation (requires dependency on a system that is not maintained by Amazon, and as seen in the past, can be optionally down-shifted, to limited availability, which reduces the accuracy of GPS, for the purpose of security, which have, in the past, not been announced before the 'switch' was thrown)
- Theft of the craft
- Identification (A complete load-out of anti-collision beacons, thus reducing battery life and maximum distance. Transponder with remote-controlled squawk and ident ability.
- Combined theater cooperation (The device will have to navigate according to NOTAMS, PIREPS and available METAR data, but also must be able to avoid and other craft of it's own type, and civilian, commercial, military fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, in addition to (and this is kind of difficult) recreational sky divers and their chutes, gliders, and balloons)
- FAA flight plan filing.
I fear that the amount of gear to accomplish the above may make for a larger craft than shown in pictures, videos and the 60 Minutes piece.
One idea I thought of was the distribution of an in-expensive landing pad, roughly a yard-square, with a simple radio beacon... A sheet of Tyvek with an flat,battery operated broadcast carrier, which may solve some of the navigation and liability issues, but there is more to consider here.
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