We all know very well that the social network giant Facebook’s Aquila was revealed as a drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 will no longer fulfill the mission of bringing the internet to remote locations. Yes, according to the latest reports, the social network giant Facebook has decided to kill its solar-powered drone before it could give you free internet.
Facebook Kills Its Drone Before It Could Give You ‘Free Internet’
The social network giant Facebook’s Aquila was revealed as a drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 will no longer fulfill the mission of bringing the internet to remote locations.
After almost three years of development and testing, the social network giant Facebook has finally decided to cancel the project. The sequence of problems with the aircraft is behind the decision.
The drone was part of Internet.org, the division of the social network giant Facebook that develops projects to bring Internet access to isolated places or with uncertain infrastructure. The company hoped to have the aircraft send the signal to ground receivers with a laser transmission system, while the solar panels would guarantee up to 90 days of uninterrupted flights.
Although the idea sounded progressive, there were high expectations for the project, especially after the social network giant Facebook announced last year Aquila’s first successful flights.
However, even then, the climate was one of the frustration and uncertainty. The social network giant Facebook trumpeted the flights of Aquila, but “forgot” to point out that the first of them resulted in a collision with the ground when the aircraft tried to land. The second flight was better, but the propellers had problems and again landing damage.
Emails obtained by Business Insider indicate that in 2017 the social network giant Facebook considered fully redesigning the drone, but the proposal has not advanced. The company also considered setting up a base for aircraft of the type in New Mexico, but discussions about the redesign of Aquila made the idea postponed and now discarded.
Suspicions that Aquila would be discontinued arose last month when Andrew Cox, the project leader, stepped down. He ran a drones company that was bought by Facebook in 2014 for about $20 million.
With the end of Aquila, the facilities that Facebook had in Bridgewater to play the project were closed. In addition, it appears that at least 16 employees who worked there were disconnected from the company.
The social network giant Facebook does understand, however, that it has not given up on the idea of offering internet access in remote locations. The idea of the drone was dropped, but the development of other connectivity projects continues.
Perhaps Facebook is still able to use airplanes for Internet access, but not on its own: in November 2017, the company signed an agreement with Airbus to develop such equipment. The partnership is still standing.
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