Facebook wants to bring internet to the most remote parts of the world, and the first part of its plan to do so has taken flight. A massive, foreboding wing-shaped drone, nicknamed Project Aquila, recently completed its first test flight in Arizona, Facebook announced today.
Nearly a year ago, Facebook said it would test its drone somewhere in the US, but has yet to confirm where. The team had been testing a small-scale model of the drone for months, working out kinks, before testing the real deal. The full-sized, carbon-fiber drone is solar-powered, and has a wingspan comparable to a Boeing 737 jet.
The goal is to have a fleet of drones like these flying between 60,000 to 90,000 feet at all times, receiving internet data from a base station via proprietary laser connections, and beaming that data down to customers. Facebook wants the drones to be able to stay in the air, powered by just the sun, for months at a time.