Facebook has released more details about the cause of the crash with the Facebook drone in June. It turns out that during the flight there were higher wind conditions than the Facebook team had expected.
During the final seconds of the test flight, the drone was hit by the high airspeed. The Facebook drone flew over the planned route. But that led to further bending and torsion of the drone, causing serious damage to the right wing, followed by the crash.
The US transport watchdog NTSB previously came with a report on the crash. Despite the structural failure, the social network Facebook still sees the test flight as a success. The drone flew for 90 minutes during the test, which is three times longer than originally planned.
“The autopilot responded by lowering the nose of the aircraft to correct the trajectory, which increased the airspeed above the normal 25 miles per hour.”
Facebook wrote in a report.
“At the time of the failure, the aircraft was seconds away from landing, less than 20 feet above the ground and moving less than 30 miles per hour.”
Eager to fly again
The tech giant said it is eager to fly again and is already designing and building second-generation aircraft with new features, as a result of their learning.
The aircraft powered by solar energy is intended to ensure that people in remote areas have access to the internet. The Aquila drone has a wingspan of 43 meters. Thus, it is wider than a Boeing 737.