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Facebook's Aquila Internet drone completes first test flight

Facebook hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60000 feet and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.

Jul 23, 2016 11:04 IST
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Facebook Inc on 22 July 2016 announced the successful completion of test flight of a solar-powered drone named Aquila.

The social media giant believes that Aquila will help to extend Internet connectivity to every corner of the planet.

The company ultimately hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60000 feet and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.

Key highlights of Aquila

Aquila is a lightweight, high-altitude aircraft.

It flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona.

It has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737.

The body of the plane is made of a carbon fiber composite.

It weighs less than 1000 pounds.

The aircraft will use new laser-beam technology to deliver fast Internet to people in a 60-mile radius.

It will transmit a signal that can be received by the antennas of small towers and dishes on the ground.

The antennas will convert the signal into Wi-Fi or 4G networks.

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