Wednesday 26 April 2017

Facebook ready to test giant drone - with wingspan of Boeing 737 - for internet service

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Facebook has said it will begin test flights later this year of a solar-powered drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737, the next stage of its campaign to deliver internet service to remote parts of the world.

Engineers at the giant social network say they have built a drone with a 140-foot wingspan that weighs less than 1,000 pounds. It will use lasers to send internet signals to stations on the ground.

The project is part of a broader effort by Facebook that also contemplates using satellites and other high-tech gear to deliver internet connectivity to hundreds of millions of people living in regions too remote for conventional service.

Facebook rival Google is experimenting with high-altitude balloons and satellites in a programme that has similar goals.

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