Facebook decided to close the Aquila project, in which it was planned to improve access to the Internet with the help of autonomous aircraft on solar energy. Such devices were supposed to climb to a height of 18-27 km and with the help of a laser to establish data transmission in hard-to-reach regions. The program was launched in 2014.
In Facebook, Aquila was considered an insufficiently practical solution to continue its implementation. The first test flight took place in 2016, but due to technical errors it ended with a hard landing with the subsequent involvement of the National Council for Safety in Transport of the United States.
The second test flight was better, but it was also far from ideal, reminds TechCrunch.
Such aircraft, characterized by low power consumption, are developed by other companies with more serious experts in the state. For this reason, the amount of investment that was required from Facebook was excessive.