A year ago, Facebook unveiled Aquila, its effort to put giant drones in the skies to beam Internet connectivity to areas in the developing world without mobile broadband Internet.
Today, the company announced it has completed the first full-scale test of its Aquila drone, after months of testing one-fifth-size models. On June 28, the experimental aircraft (featuring a V-shaped wingspan the width of a Boeing 737) took off from the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona, and flew for 96 minutes at low altitude, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg and many others watched in the dawn sunlight. There’s much more work ahead for Facebook’s connectivity effort, including figuring out how to effectively send Internet with lasers.
For more on the test flight, read our story here.