Facebook solar drone completed its first test flight2015-03-27 10:32 by Daniela
Tags: Facebook, drone
On the second day of its F8 conference in Fort Mason, San Francisco, Facebook announced that earlier this month the company successfully tested a smaller version of the drone, with which it plans to bring web connectivity to the 4 billion people worldwide without Internet. Facebook is planning "a real test flight" of its solar-powered internet drone this summer.
The drone's name is Aquila, named after the eagle in Greek mythology who carried Jupiter's thunderbolts. It is a V-shaped unmanned vehicle, with a wingspan of a Boeing 767 and weighs less than a small car. The company figures about 1,000 of these high fliers should suffice to cover the Earth with high-speed connectivity.
"It will be powered by solar panels on its wings and it will be able to stay at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet for months at a time," Zuckerberg said. "Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10% of the world's population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure."
Building drones, satellites and lasers is a part of a greater effort to support the Facebook-led initiative Internet.org, which is already bringing free Internet data to four African countries, Colombia and India.
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