Facebook drone successful complete second flight
Facebook Aquila program has recorded another milestone as the drone completed it's second flight of about 1 hour 46 minutes this past May.
On its blog, Facebook has detailed the modifications made after the first flight as follows:
- Adding “spoilers” to the wings, which help to increase drag and reduce lift during the landing approach
- Integrating new radios for the communication subsystem
- Incorporating hundreds of sensors to gather new data
- Modifying the autopilot software
- Installing a horizontal propeller stopping mechanism to support a successful landing
- Applying a smoother finish on the plane
The first flight didn't go so well when a 20-foot section of the wing snapped off during landing. A gust of wind knocked Aquila off its flight path, and the autopilot’s attempt to correct course resulted in the drone going faster than intended.
Facebook learned from the failures of its first flight to significantly improved on its second. The Aquila program was conceptualized as a possible way to bring the internet to people. It started in 2014.
Photo Credit: Facebook