Facebook Completes Landmark Test on Wi-Fi-Broadcasting Airplane

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An experienced business leader, Thomas P. Ivanyi is co-founder and CEO of investment banking firm Hampton Partners, as well as president and CEO of investment services firm Private Equity Direct. Thomas P. Ivanyi is also the founder of iTvTrax, LLC, and the inventor of the iTvTrax television metrics technology, and as such, he remains abreast of the latest developments in the tech sector.

On July 21, 2016, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab announced the success of the first full-scale test flight for Aquila, an unmanned aircraft that could have a significant impact on the future of internet connectivity. While the Connectivity Lab had previously tested one-fifth scale models of the solar-powered airplane, the latest low-altitude test provided 90 minutes – three times more than originally planned – of full-scale flight data.

As the leader of Internet.org, which strives to bring the valuable resource of internet access to the entire world, Facebook plans for Aquila to eventually bring Wi-fi connectivity to remote locations. Capable of providing internet to users on the ground from an altitude of 60,000 feet, Aquila will travel around 60-mile diameter regions, using a mere 5,000 watts of energy to sustain its cruising speed. The aircraft’s extremely efficient design allows it to remain airborne for up to three months without landing, making it a potentially life-changing resource for the 1.6 billion people residing in remote areas without mobile broadband access.


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