Aquila is part of Internet.org, Facebook’s plan to extend Web access to what it estimates are 1.1 billion to 2.8 billion people without internet excess. Facebook says it has designed and built a high-altitude solar-powered plane in 14 months, and that tests will begin later this year.
Facebook has plans to work with established Internet providers rather than compete with them. This is what Facebook’s VP of engineering told TechCrunch
“Our intention is not to be an operator , We’re not going to be ‘Facebook ISP.’” – Facebook’s VP of engineering Jay Parikh
Facebook’s Drone Aquila has wingspan of Boeing 737 , but what is really surprising is the weight , Aquila weighs only as much as a car. Aquila can fly for three months without landing. It will project a laser that can transmit data to other aircraft, and a signal that will be received by small towers and dishes on the ground within 50 kilometers.
Aquila will fly above commercial airplanes at about 60,000 to 90,000 during the day. During night the drone will be powered by battery’s which will be charged by sun.
Facebook’s prototype can deliver 10 gigabits of data a second, much faster than what’s considered state-of-the-art in the industry. The laser system is currently testing in California.