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Facebook Test-Flies Drone to Bring Internet to Remote Areas

© REUTERS / Dado Ruvic/IllustrationA 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration
A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration - Sputnik International
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US social networking giant Facebook announced on Thursday a successful test of its solar-powered Aquila drone, which will beam Internet to people in remote areas.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Facebook has been working on Aquila Project with leading experts in aerospace and communication technologies, from NASA's jet propulsion lab to a small UK firm that created one of the world’s longest flying solar-powered drones.

​After two years of development, the unmanned aircraft took to the skies before dawn on June 28 in Yuma, Arizona. It stayed aloft for 96 minutes, although the aim is to have it up for months at a time.

The drone has a wingspan wider than the Boeing 737 but weighs less than 1,000 pounds, which is the same as a grand piano, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote.

"Aquila will carry a communications payload that will use lasers to transfer data more than 10 times faster than existing systems," he explained.

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