Facebook’s Aquila drone completed its second flight this May flying for 1 hour and 46 minutes. Facebook detailed and explained the flight in a blog post about the modifications it made to the drone after the failure of the initial flights. That first flight failed somewhat as a blow of wind forced Aquila off its flight path, and the autopilot’s attempt to balance the changes resulted in the drone going faster than intended, and a 20-foot section of the wing snapped off during landing.
This time taking prevention measures, Facebook added “hundreds of sensors” to gather additional data; updated the auto-pilot software, mounted a horizontal propeller breaking mechanism to aid a successful landing, also they added “spoilers” to the wings, which increase drag and reduce lift during the landing approach.
Learning from it’s previous failure due to wind, Facebook goes into deep detail about how wind affects flight. The Aquila crew monitors the wind throughout the day and based on their observations, uploads a landing plan based on the wind direction, so the drone lands in a safe manner against the direction of wind. Basically, Facebook says it learned from the failures of its first flight to improve upon its second. And I say that’s what basically everyone should do in their life, learn from your failures and keep going.
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Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg first conceived the idea of Aquila back in 2014 as a possible way to bring internet to people in remote areas and help them connect with the world. His goal is to have Aquila fully functional and flying in only a few years.
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