Tech Industry

Facebook's self-flying, solar-powered, Wi-Fi airplane nails first flight

One small step for Facebook, and one giant step for Wi-Fi worldwide.

Now Playing: Watch this: Facebook launches its unmanned solar-powered internet...
1:21

Facebook announced a "milestone" Thursday in its plan to provide the world with Wi-Fi by using drones. Aquila -- a self-flying, solar-powered airplane -- successfully completed its first full-scale test flight.

For months Facebook Connectivity Lab, also on the cutting-edge of laser communications, was testing one-fifth scale models of Aquila, but this is the first time a full-scale model of the aircraft has passed the test.

The test, a low-altitude flight, originally was planned to last only 30 minutes, but it ended up lasting three times longer. Facebook has a long way to go before it eventually takes Aquila above 60,000 feet (its goal), but future tests will continue to slowly push it to its limits.

Facebook's solar-powered drone was first shown off in July 2015.

Facebook