Facebook’s (soon to be) solar-powered, wifi serving, laser mesh network drone, the Aquila, is retiring to the V&A – the world’s leading museum of art and design – in London.
The plane has completed two successful test flights, one each in 2016 and 2017. Facebook’s goal is to create a broad network of technology to deliver internet connectivity to the 1.6 billion on earth without access.
The plane was built in Somerset, England and is returning home for display. Facebook believes its high altitude platform stations (HAPS) program, that includes the drone, will fill in where cellular towers are uneconomical.
The carbon fiber plane’s wingspan of 141 feet is greater than a Boeing 737. Half of the planes 900 lbs is dedicated to batteries. The goal is to fly the plane between 60-90,000 ft. Standard operating energy demand was approximately 5,000W in the plane’s first flight. When in cruise, the usage of the …