Aquila will fly for 90 days at a time, blanketing a 60-mile wide area with internet access. But to prove it works, Facebook’s solar-powered plane just completed its first official test flight. Eventually, it will help 1.6 billion people in remote regions gain Internet connectivity.
Despite having a wingspan of over 113 feet — bigger than a Boeing 737 — Aquila uses less energy than three hairdryers. That efficiency will allow it to stay aloft for long periods, drifting over developing countries and beaming a connection to receivers on the ground. From there, local communities can tap into the Internet.
Here you can watch video from Aquila’s first flight: