Four years ago, Facebook shared with the world its ambitious dream of building massive drones. Today, that dream is dead.
In a Tuesday blog post, the company announced the end of its Aquila program, an effort to construct a “high altitude platform station system” (read: massive drones) that sought to bring high-speed internet access — and, of course, access to Facebook — to an estimated 4 billion people across the globe who do not have it.
“As we’ve worked on these efforts, it’s been exciting to see leading companies in the aerospace industry start investing in this technology too — including the design and construction of new high-altitude aircraft,” Yael Maguire, an engineering director at the company, said in the Facebook post. “Given these developments, we’ve decided not to design or build our own aircraft any longer, and to close our facility in Bridgwater.”