Mark Zuckerberg is after move nearer to providing world-wide-web access all over the planet.

In accordance to The Yuma Solar, Facebook’s solar-driven drone productively finished its check flight in Arizona, far more than a yr right after the first check run ended in a crash.

Zuckerberg would like to use the drone, named Aquila, to “beam” world-wide-web connectivity to some of the most distant places in the planet. The Facebook co-founder wrote that there are about four billion people—about half of the world’s population—who are remaining without the need of access.

“We productively collected a whole lot of knowledge to help us optimize Aquila’s effectiveness. No one particular has at any time crafted an unmanned plane that will fly for months at a time, so we need to tune every single detail to get this appropriate,” Zuckerberg lately wrote on Facebook. “When Aquila is all set, it will be a fleet of solar-driven planes that will beam world-wide-web connectivity throughout the planet. Nowadays, far more than half the world’s population—four billion people—still can not access the world-wide-web. 1 day, Aquila will help improve that.”

Engineers built a number of design modifications to guarantee the 2nd check flight would go far more easily. This time all over, the drone featured more spoilers, current autopilot computer software, and a horizontal propeller stopping program to strengthen landing. Zuckerberg claimed Aquila was in the air for one particular hour and 46 minutes.

“The enhancements we implemented centered on Aquila’s functionality for the duration of its 1st check flight built a sizeable change in this flight,” Martin Luis Gomez, Facebook’s director of aeronautical platforms, wrote in a assertion.

Aquila weighs about one,000 pounds and has a wingspan broader than the Boeing 747. The drone flies autonomously, but has a designated floor crew that can manually management it when required.

“Needless to say, the complete workforce was thrilled with these effects. Connecting men and women by way of substantial-altitude solar-driven plane is an audacious intention, but milestones like this flight make the months of really hard get the job done well worth it, Gomez wrote. […] In the coming months, we’re psyched to consider the classes from our profitable 2nd flight to carry on the Aquila program’s progress to help bring the planet nearer with each other by way of connectivity.”

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