Facebook unveils solar drone for internet access

Facebook has unveiled its full-scale solar-powered drone which is expected to help provide internet access in remote parts of the world. The company expects the plane – dubbed Aquila – […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Facebook has unveiled its full-scale solar-powered drone which is expected to help provide internet access in remote parts of the world.

The company expects the plane – dubbed Aquila – to fly non-stop for three months at a time.

The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 but weighs less than a car due to its unique design and carbon-fibre frame, it claims.

It will fly above conventional air traffic and provide internet connectively to the most remote places on earth using lasers and radio frequency technology.

Jay Parikh, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Engineering and Infrastructure, said: “Our mission is to connect everybody in the world. This is going to be a great opportunity for us to motivate the industry to move faster on this technology.

“Our intention is not to build networks and then operate them ourselves but rather to quickly advance the state of these technologies to the point that they become viable solutions for operators and other partners to deploy.”

The aircraft will be tested in the US later this year.