Published on : Jul 22, 2016
On Thursday, 21st of July, Facebook claimed to have completed a test flight of a drone that was solar-powered. This test was successful and is said to extend the connectivity of the internet to all the parts of the world. The name of the aircraft is Aquila, and it is a light-weight, high-altitude aircraft. It flew over few thousand feet for a period of 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, as stated by Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
The company aims to have a fleet of the same aircraft that is able to fly for a minimum of three months at a given point of time at 60, 000 ft and are able to communicate with each other for delivering an internet access. In this, the Google parent Alphabet has also invested money in order to provide an internet access to areas via Project Loon. This aims at utilizing a network of balloons with high altitude for making the internet available to all the remote areas globally.
Zuckerberg also stated on how the company is aiming at flying a fleet of these aircrafts called Aquilas and making planes lighter so that they may fly for longer intervals of time. He says that he wants them to fly at 60, 000 feet beaming down lasers for providing the internet. It is said that Aquila will go through a number of more test flights and is expected to break the world record of being the longest solar-powered unmanned aircraft.
The company Facebook, which currently has over 1.6 bn users worldwide has expended billions of dollars to bring people online by two ways. Firstly, by building drones and secondly via an initiative known as Internet.org., offering an internet version which is pared down to work in poor areas.
The world awaits for this fleet of longest solar-powered unmanned aircraft which may bring revolution in the world of internet connectivity in poor areas.