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.
Today we're proud to announce the first test flight of Aquila — it flies on roughly the power of three blowdryers! pic.twitter.com/qN8U5kj4uf— Facebook (@facebook) July 21, 2016
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.