Mon, Oct 24, 2016 | updated 10:37 AM IST

Facebook internet drone takes flight on Google's Project Loon

Updated: Jul 24, 2016 14:43 IST

New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): After completing successful test, Facebook Inc announced flight of a solar-powered drone, Aquila, in hope of extending internet connectivity to every corner of the planet.

Light in weight, the high-altitude aircraft flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

The company ultimately hopes to have a fleet of Aquilas that can fly for at least three months at a time at 60,000 feet (18,290 metres) and communicate with each other to deliver internet access.

Google parent Alphabet Inc has also poured money into delivering internet access to underserved areas through Project Loon, which aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons to make the internet available to remote parts of the world.

Zuckerberg has laid out the company's biggest challenges in flying a fleet of Aquilas, including making the plane lighter so it can fly for longer periods.

Facebook, which has more than 1.6 billion users, has invested billions of dollars in getting more people online, both through an initiative called - which offers a pared-down version of the internet to poor areas. (ANI)