Facebook has been busy trying to bring internet to rural areas, much like how Google is with its internet powered balloons. Today Facebook announced their fleet of solar-powered airplanes. Aquila is the name chosen for the fleet. Aquila is a high powered, high endurance plane that intends to bring internet to people rural areas.
Aquila has a massive V-shaped wingspan. The aircraft is said to weigh roughly 880-1000 pounds with all equipment onboard. The plane can stay afloat for 3 months shooting data down to ground levels from 60,000-90,000 feet. This ideal elevation will help it steer away from commercial aircrafts and from severe weather conditions.
The process of how the aircraft will beam down data to people according to Facebook is, lasers will be installed on ground level where they can then shoot up to the airplane for relay of internet back to the ground for communication with other planes in the vicinity. 10 gigabits of data will be delivered from the planes but if severe weather is present on ground level, this could slow down the speeds for users.
Source: Facebook Newsroom