Nearly a year ago Facebook’s Connectivity Lab completed the first test flight of Aquila.

Now, the social network has given us a sample of the drone’s second flight and the quest to beam internet from 18 – 27km above terra firma appears to be taking shape rather well.

The drone was airborne for 1 hour 46 minutes and during that time Facebook’s team collected valuable data that should help keep Aquila in the air for as long as possible.

“This second flight was all about data,” Facebook’s Martin Luis Gomez said in a blog post.

Gomez explains that the data collected will be used to refine Aquila’s aerodynamics as well as predict energy usage so that the battery and solar array size can be optimised.

Facebook itself says that goal of beaming internet to the ground via high-altitude solar-powered aircraft is a bold undertaking. When one considers that Google scrapped Project Titan (a project with similar goals to Aquila) that makes Facebook’s project seem like a much bigger gamble.

Of course as the old adage goes, you’ll never know until you try and at least Facebook is trying.

[Image – Facebook]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.