According to national watchdogs, Facebook’s very own drone powered by solar energy failed to maintain flight and crashed during the test trials as a result of overpowering winds.
The National Transportation Safety Board remarked on the unsuccessful test, saying the drone most likely got jumbled up due to the strong winds hitting against it, as it is an auto-piloted drone.
The drone had attempted to perform a landing in the empty desert of Arizona, before ultimately crashing.
The Aquila Project
This project was first introduced back in 2014 by Facebook, in which the primary objective was to provide Internet accessibility to areas where they either had no connection, or simply proved to have a very poor one to say the least.
The name given to this device was the Aquila drone, and it consisted of a wingspan from a Boeing 737.
Facebook is currently in the trial phases of development so as to offer several drones powered by solar energy to be flying high up certain areas and provide a stable internet connection.
Despite the drone actually crashing at the end, Facebook still refers to its trial as a success, saying its flight duration was three times longer than they had anticipated, adding as well that its landing system proved to have functioned quite satisfactorily.
The Cause, The Drone And It’s Future
According to the report on the crash, it notes that the heavy winds caused the nose of the drone to decrease, while still speeding up at a pace that could not catch up to the appropriate path for a successful landing.
The right wing had broken off from the drone, resulting in a crash with severe damage to the drone, but none to anything else or to anyone for that matter.
Facebook announced that they are looking for means and methods to improve the Aquila drone’s future efficiency, and plan on adjusting the autopilot system so as not to result in an accelerated speed that cannot catch up with its descending course.