Facebook Announces End To Massive Drone Program

June 27, 2018
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Not many people may know this, but four years ago Facebook announced a massive drone program. The Aquila program was meant to bring high-speed internet to nearly 4 billion world wide. Facebook planned to construct a fleet of "high altitude platform station system" to facilitate the high-speed access.

The Aquila drone had a wingspan of a Boeing 737, and operated on solar power. The drone would travel at high speeds, sending signals to towers in remote areas.

There were only two test flights, one of which was investigated by the NTSB after a "structural failure" left the drone "substantially damaged."

Unfortunately, on Tuesday, Facebook announced that they would be discontinuing the program. Yael Marguire, an engineering director at Facebook said:

"As we've worked on these efforts, it's been exciting to see leading companies in the aerospace industry start investing in this technology too — including the design and construction of new high-altitude aircraft. Given these developments, we've decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgwater."

Facebook says they will continue to work with aerospace companies to design systems to allow aircraft to send WIFI and LTE signals.

Via Mashable