Amazon's delivery aircraft cleared for take off

By Alan Tovey

The company's move into full-size aircraft is the latest step in the expansion of its logistics chain.
The company's move into full-size aircraft is the latest step in the expansion of its logistics chain.

Amazon has revealed its first branded cargo jet as the internet retailer expands its logistics capabilities.

The company unveiled the freighter - a Boeing 767 - which is emblazoned with the "Prime Air" logo and is one of 40 jets the company has agreed to lease as it sets up a dedicated aerial distribution network.

Named Amazon One - a play on the US presidential aircraft's Airforce One designation - and operated by Atlas Air, the jet is one of 11 freighters being used by the internet company.

In another tribute to the geekiness of the company, the aircraft's registration - N1997A - is a prime number.

The unveiling comes just a week after Amazon won permission from the UK government to begin testing the technology needed to run a drone delivery service, with unmanned vehicles weighing up to 55lbs delivering packages of up to 5lb- a weight limit which the company says encompasses almost 90pc of orders.

The drones will be able to make 10-mile delivery flights.

However, the latest addition to the fleet is a monster by comparison to the drones.

Amazon One has a maximum takeoff weight of 408,000lb, can carry 116,000lb of cargo and has a range of 3,200 miles.

The company's move into full-size aircraft is just the latest step in the expansion of its logistics chain.

It has introduced its own delivery trucks, with a network of 4,000 trailers, and under its "Flex" initiative is allowing people to sign up online, be vetted and then begin delivering for the business.

The result of this is that most deliveries will arrive within a day if the customer is willing to pay for speed, and in some areas, within an hour under the fastest Prime Now service. The record in London is just 16 minutes from final click of the customer's mouse to their doorbell ringing as the package arrives.

Watch: Introducing Amazon One:

Amazon One will get its first public showing on Friday at Seafair, an air show in the company's home town of Seattle.

"Creating an air transportation network is expanding our capacity to ensure great delivery speeds for our Prime members for years to come," said Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations.

"I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate the inaugural flight than in our hometown."

The launch came as it emerged that earlier this week Amazon chief Jim Bezos sold a million shares in the company, increasing his wealth by $755m, adding to the almost $60b he is worth, making him the world's third richest man.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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