Facebook Inc has declared the completion of building its first full-scale drone, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 and will provide Internet access to the most remote parts of the world.
As per the company, the device will be tested by the end of the year in the US.
The plane will weigh about 880 pounds (400 kg), confirmed Yael Maguire, the company’s Engineering Director of Connectivity. It will hover between 60,000 feet and 90,000 feet (20 and 30 km), above the altitude of commercial airplanes, so that it is not affected by problematic weather.
Jay Parikh, who is the Vice President of Engineering, said, “Our mission is to connect everybody in the world. This is going to be a great opportunity for us to motivate the industry to move faster on this technology.”
He added, the drone which was built in 14 months, is able to fly in the air for 90 days at a time. Helium balloons will be attached to the plane and float it up into the air. The drones have a wingspan of 42 meters (46 yards).
The drones are part of a program called Aquila, which is geared toward the 10% of the population that does not have any Internet access, executives said.
Separately, a year back, Facebook had launched Internet.org, an initiative to provide Internet access to the two-thirds of the world that do not have a reliable connection.
Parikh said Facebook is not planning to sell the drones but will use them to expand Internet access, reports Reuters.