Over the last few months, we have heard about Google’s and Facebook’s plans to bring free internet to everyone in the world; focusing on the parts of the world currently without internet access. Plans jumped from weather balloons to satellites to planes and much more. Google decided to stick with a solar plane.
In theory, this was a good idea; a huge 50m wing span completely covered in solar panels to absorb as much energy as possible, in a light weight chassis and electric motor.
During initial testing in Albuquerque, the plane crashed shortly after takeoff. This happened on May 1st on a private airfield and luckily no injuries were reported; well apart from the plane. The drone was a project idea of Google which became a reality after the acquisition of Titan Aerospace. It has not been made clear if the plane is salvageable or if the technology will be used to build ‘Solar Plane 2.0’.
“Although our prototype plane went down during a recent test, we remain optimistic about the potential of solar-powered planes to help deliver connectivity,” Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman, told Bloomberg. “Part of building a new technology is overcoming hurdles along the way.”
It is still early days for the project, maybe it would be better to be dropped off the bottom of a larger plane instead of self-propelling for take off.
Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.