Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term plan for the drone, called Aquila, is to have it and others provide internet access to 4bn people around the world who are currently in the dark.
“When Aquila is ready, it will be a fleet of solar-powered planes that will beam internet connectivity across the world,” he wrote on Facebook.
The drone flew with more sensors, new spoilers and a horizontal propeller stopping system to help it better land after the crash in December. It was in the air for an hour and 46 minutes and reached 3,000ft.
The drone weighs about 1,000lbs and has a longer wingspan than a Boeing 747. It runs mostly on autopilot but there are manned ground crews to manage certain maneuvers.
Aquila Drone Video
If this is a success, and I expect it to be, it will not only bring free or extremely cheap internet access to the world, but also free or extremely cheap phone service.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock