Facebook announced that it will increase the test flights of its high-altitude, solar-powered Aquila drone to around three per month. The end game for the Aquila drone is to skip land-based internet systems and have the drone beam internet signals over areas below from high-altitude. Eventually Facebook hopes the massive (it has the wingspan of a 737), but lightweight drone can fly at days at a time to provide internet access.
This increase of tests follow the recent news that Google has terminated its Titan drone program, which aimed to do the same thing. Facebook’s Aquila drone has also had its own issues. One suffered a structural failure and crashed last June. But Facebook obviously wants to move forward with the project and has been in talks with various governments around the world about using the Aquila drone to provide internet to underdeveloped rural areas.
The team at Drone Dossier is happy to hear that Facebook is moving forward with this project. If they can find a way to make it work in as sustainable way it could be a game changer for internet access around the world.