• 5 minutes Iran Says It Arrested 17 CIA Spies, Some Sentenced To Death
  • 9 minutes Will We Ever See 100$+ OIL?
  • 13 minutes Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 14 hours Iran Loses $130,000,000 Oil Revenue Every Day They Continue Their Games . . . .Opportunity Lost . . . Will Never Get It Back. . . . . LOL .
  • 6 hours Renewables provided only about 4% of total global energy needs in 2018
  • 3 hours Platts says if Iran's 2 mm bbls exports comes back on market oil goes to $40 . . . What about new Permian pipelines 2.47 mm bbls coming ? . . . WHAT IF BOTH IRAN AND PERMIAN TOTAL 4.47 mm added bbls . . . OMG !
  • 1 hour Today United States President Trump Questioned U.S. Policing Straights of Hormuz for Rich Asian Countries. Allies Britain and Japan asked to participate. They said NO. Nice friends, huh. US spends $100 Billion a year Protecting Mideast Shipping Lanes!
  • 3 hours So You Think We’re Reducing Fossil Fuel? — Think Again
  • 6 hours N.Y. Governor Signs Climate Bill
  • 2 hours Oil Giant Saudi Arabia Is Set to Start First Wind-Power Plant
  • 22 hours Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes
  • 16 hours U.S. Administration Moves To End Asylum Protections For Central Americans
  • 21 hours How is E&P of Marginal Oil on the UKCS Similar to the Shale Oil Operations in the US?
  • 3 hours EIA Reports Are Fraudulent : EIA Is Conspiring With Trump To Keep Oil Prices Low
  • 1 day Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 1 day Shale Oil will it self destruct?

Facebook’s Solar-Powered Plane Undergoes First Official Test Flight

Aquila Facebook

The Aquila, a solar-powered aircraft that Facebook hopes can provide Internet access, took off on its first official test flight, according to Wired on Thursday.

The plane was able to fly successfully for a little over an hour-and-a-half during the flight that took place on 28 June in restricted airspace of a U.S. Army airfield at Yuma, Arizona.

Martin Gomez, one of the Facebook technicians working on Aquila, explained that the flight was only planned for thirty minutes, but was extended by three times as long. As a result, engineers were able to gather key data on the plane’s four motors, its autopilot system, its batteries, and its radios.

As described in TechCrunch, the aircraft has a longer wingspan that a Boeing 737, but its lithium ion batteries uses less energy than three hair dryers. Hence, the greater energy efficiency can help the Aquila reach its goal of flying for ninety-day periods while providing Internet coverage to areas sixty miles wide.

Prior to Aquila, Facebook tested twenty-eight prototypes in the United States and Great Britain. Future models could fly for months at a time, rely on solar power, reach heights of up to 90,000 feet and provide mobile broadband access to an estimated 1.6 million people.

Facebook anticipates giving away the blueprints for its aircraft and other Internet devices in order to allow governments and private firms to help spread access to isolated areas. The planes could also send broadband directly to mobile phones or to a terrestrial base station that would then send the signal to devices.

The test flight was not entirely flawless, however, as Aquila suffered what was described as “structural failure” just before landing. Also, planners will need to figure out a viable system to launch the aircraft so that they may fly at least 60,000 feet in the air. Subsequent tests will add to Aquila the communications payload that will beam Internet signals to the ground.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play