Facebook’s solar powered drone Aquila Crash-landed due to wind

Facebook’s solar-powered internet drone Aquila crashed during its inaugural test flight in Yuma last week. The drone would be used to provide internet in remote parts of the world.

The drone would be used to beam free internet from the sky to the nearly four billion people that is nearly 60 per cent of the global population and lives in remote areas. Facebook in July announced the first successful full-scale test flight of Aquila.

“After two years of engineering, I’m proud to announce the successful first flight of Aquila — the solar-powered plane we designed to beam internet to remote parts of the world,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had written in a post back in July.

As a result of the accident, Facebook on Friday said the company was already working on an updated version of the drone that would use devices called spoilers or air brakes to help its autopilot system handle landings better.

Facebook engineers wrote in a blog post, “Each successive test flight will bring both expected and unexpected technical challenges and will teach us more about how to fly this experimental aircraft.”

Aquila is designed to be hyper efficient so it can fly for up to three months at a time.

“We intend to push the plane to its limits so we can learn more, learn faster, and reach our ultimate goal of connecting people sooner,” the post continues.

urvashi khatri

urvashi khatri

Urvashi works as Sr. analyst (solar) in Sunrator technologies.