Recent reports seem to confirm the fact that the first Aquila drone flight was not as successful as the company would have wanted.
Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has been quite vocal about his wish to offer everyone in the world the ability to connect to the Internet.
His plan is to bring Internet connection or a higher connectivity to even the poorest or more remote areas of the globe. The project has come to be known as the Facebook Connectivity Lab.
Zuckerberg’s plan has been both applauded and contested as some see its beneficial and knowledge offering opportunities. Others see it as a method of increasing user numbers and also of swaying and influencing opinions.
Taking no heed of the popular or unpopular opinions, Facebook has been advancing in its global Internet quest.
One of their proposed method of acquiring such a feat is through the help of a drone system. They would be part of a global system of lasers and satellites. A first such drone is the Aquila, which had its initial test earlier this year.
The Aquila drone was reported to have a 141 feet wide wing span and to weigh somewhere around 900 pounds. Made out of carbon fiber, the device is wider than some of our current airplane models.
As the device is still a prototype, its final version should be able to fly and remain airborne for a one and a half month period.
Each of these drones should become able of providing Internet broadband for a surrounding area of up to 60 square miles.
The first Aquila drone tests were carried out earlier this year, on June 28. According to Facebook representatives, tests were a success and a step forward in their quest.
However, recent reports show that this may not be the whole truth. The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB is currently investigating an incident related to the drone.
Reports show that the NTSB has classified the incident as an accident, which may mean that the device suffered some substantial damages.
The NTSB reported that the first Aquila drone flight was affected by “structural failures” which caused it to run short and fail to achieve its target.
As no injuries, nor damages to the ground or surroundings were reported, the actual state of the drone after the initial flight was not disclosed.
At the time Facebook declared that its Aquila drone test was a success, but the existence of a failed initial flight was nonetheless hinted at.
In an engineering blog post made somewhat later in the summer, in July, the company acknowledged the structural failure which is currently being investigated.
The blog post noted that the first flight had, in fact, experienced such a problem just before landing. As a continuation, the commentary stated that further studies would be carried out.
Said studies would be analyzing both the results of the extended tests and the quite unmentioned system error.
Facebook has yet to comment in regards to this supposed first flight crash and accident or about the NTSB investigation.
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