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Apr 3, 2015

Facebook is planning to test its 747-sized internet drones this summer

Posted by in category: drones

By Rich McCormick — The Vergehttps://lifeboat.com/blog.images/facebook-is-planning-to-test-its-747-sized-internet-drones-this-summer.jpgFacebook’s ambitious plan to bring internet to the entire world with a fleet of broadband-beaming unmanned aerial vehicles has taken a step closer to fruition. The company’s vice president of engineering, Jay Parikh, told The Wall Street Journal that Facebook is planning “a real test flight” of its solar-powered internet drone this summer. A smaller version of the drone, one tenth the size of the planned product, was tested earlier this month.

The scheduled test flight would be the first time the full-sized internet drone — called Aquila — will take to the skies. Facebook says the vehicle will have the wingspan of a commercial passenger jet and the length of “six or seven [Toyota] Priuses,” but will only weigh as much as four car tires. The lightweight build should help the craft stay flying for weeks, months, or years at a time, using solar energy to keep itself aloft. Google, also in the process of developing its own internet-proliferation project, is using a different approach. The company’s Project Loon uses a swarm of balloons to disseminate broadband to unconnected portions of the world.Read more

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