According to a statement published by no less than Mark ZuckenbertCEO of Facebook, the company has successfully conducted the first field tests for the Aquila project. As a reminder, tell you that this project is the way the social media giant wants provide internet access to practically the entire planet, especially to the most isolated sites and with less possibility of access.
To achieve this, the Aquila project has developed a series of fixed-wing solar drones with great autonomy and the ability to fly at altitudes that vary between the 18.000 and the 28.000 meters. Now, although its capabilities are more than surprising, its heights also since we are talking about a drone whose wingspan is very similar to that of a Boeing 737 aircraft with a weight that is around 400 kilograms.
Facebook hopes that, at their height of work, their drones will be able to fly uninterrupted for three months.
Regarding the tests carried out, tell you that in this first contact on the ground, the team responsible for the development of this project has tested the reliability of the structure and the operability of the device. As a detail, since there are many news that speak about the feasibility or not of the project and especially about the tests carried out to date, tell you that this was the first time to use a full-scale model since the previous tests were done with drones at 1: 5 scale.
Finally, tell you that, according to the project development team, low height the system remained airborne for 96 minutes, a time that tripled the initial forecasts. Once the drones reach their working altitude, they are expected to be able to remain in flight completely uninterrupted for at least three months, time which in turn would break the record for the longest prolonged flight with an unmanned aircraft that , currently, it is two weeks.