Aquila, an internet drone by Facebook took its test flight in Arizona

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Aquila is a solar powered drone backed by Facebook that could one day provide internet facility to 4 billion people who are still in dark. In its earlier attempt it ended with a crash landing after hit by speedy winds.

The drone flew with more sensors, new spoilers and a horizontal propeller stopping system to help it better land after the crash in December. It was in the air for an hour and 46 minutes and elevated 3,000 feet (910 meters).The drone weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms).

“When Aquila is ready, it will be a fleet of solar-powered planes that will beam internet connectivity across the world,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

The drone flew with more sensors, new spoilers and a horizontal propeller stopping system to help it better land after the crash in December. It was in the air for an hour and 46 minutes and elevated 3,000 feet (910 meters). It weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms).

The drone runs mostly on autopilot, but there are manned ground crews to manage certain maneuvers.

“We successfully gathered a lot of data to help us optimize Aquila’s efficiency,” Zuckerberg said. “No one has ever built an unmanned airplane that will fly for months at a time, so we need to tune every detail to get this right.”

It flew with the engineering team watching a live stream from a helicopter chasing the drone, said Martin Luis Gomez, Facebook’s director of aeronautical platforms.

“The team was thrilled with the outcome.The improvements we implemented based on Aquila’s performance during its first test flight made a significant difference in this flight,” Gomez said.

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