Facebook’s solar-powered drone named Aquila has taken flight once again.Facebook has revealed That its second test flight and landing of its huge internet-beaming drone was a success.The social networking giant said, that it’s Aquila drone completed its second test flight on May 22 at the Yuma Proving Ground, a U.S. military facility, in Arizona.
Facebook in a blogpost tells about the drone, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, flew for 1 hour and 46 minutes and mentions about themodifications made since the first flight, which experienced a structural failure just before landing.
The drone has landed correctly on the landing site which was better than the last summer’s test flight that had a rocky ending, with strong winds and turbulence leading to technical errors in its autopilot system and the drone’s right wing snapping off.
Martin Luis Gomez, Facebook’s director of aeronautical platforms, outlined a couple ways which ensured that Aquila’s second flight would be smoother than the first flight, including outfitting the drone with more sensors to gather additional aerial data, tweaking the autopilot software, and “installing a horizontal propeller stopping mechanism to support a successful landing.”The purpose of this flight appeared to be to check whether Facebook’s new safety and anti-crashing techniques would work.
Facebook came up its drone project in 2015, and launched it to eventually provide Internet to the areas in the world where people lack web-connectivity. The ultimate goal for Facebook is to fly large fleets of these drones that will hover in the air for days at altitudes of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. From there, the drones will connect to one another and distribute the web down to the earth like a sort of makeshift data center in the high skies. Now, Aquila reaching an altitude of 3,000 feet for its second test flight is a sign that Facebook is not far from reaching its intended goal.