UAV Facebook ends Internet Drone Project Aquila

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Tech giant Facebook has announced, that it will end its Internet Drone Project Aquila, despite successful test flights.

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Facebook started the Aquila project in 2014, since 4 billion people globally have no access to the Internet. A drone was developed with a wingspan of a Boeing 737 to serve areas that do not have internet access.

The high-altitude platform station (HAPS) system was started by Facebook from scratch. Over the time, more companies started investing in the technology as well.

In a blog article, Facebook wrote: “To increase our chances of success we took on every part of our aircraft’s design, development, and testing, work that was led by our team in Bridgwater, U.K. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to demonstrate that an aircraft of this design was viable — with two successful full-scale test flights, including a textbook landing on Aquila beach.”

However, the company has now decided to end the Internet Drone Project. Facebook stated: “[…] we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgwater.”

But Facebook will continue to work on HAPS system connectivity, flight control computers or high-density batteries with partners like Airbus.

Facebook already connected over 100 million people over its social network. The tech company said, that it will invest in connectivity in the future as well. Recently, Facebook invested in Terragraphy and set up a fiber project in Uganda to enable Express Wi-Fi.

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