Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Facebook’s web drones will have a wingspan of a Boeing 767

Facebook’s plans to deliver internet access to under-served areas of the world through airborne drones is no ‘pie in the sky scheme,’ the firm underlined at its F8 conference on Tuesday.

During the developer event (via NYT), Facebook showcased the latest design for its Aquila unmanned aerial vehicle which it hopes to use to connect the estimated 5 billion people on earth without reliable web access.

The new V-shaped design has the 156-feet wingspan, rivaling that of a Boeing 767 passenger jet, while weighing only as much as a small car.  

The company plans to launch over 1,000 of these solar-powered drones, which will soar at altitudes between 60,000 to 90,000, for up to three months at a time, sending high-speed connectivity to the ground. Test flights of the new drones are scheduled to begin as soon as this summer

The company is working with the UK drone-maker Ascenta, which it acquired last year, while it also has its own team working from the Facebook Connectivity Lab.

“We want to serve every person in the world,” said Yael Maguire, head of Facebook’s Connectivity Lab.

“Can we reach a point where everyone on the planet gets the same message at once? I’m looking forward to that day.”

Related: Amazon no longer testing the drone model approved by FAA

The initiative is part of Facebook’s drive, which the company says has helped connect 3 million new people in the Philippines and Paraguay over the course of the last year.

In a post on his own Facebook page, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft. “

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words