Facebook Aquila Drone Crash Cause Revealed
Anthony Cartwright / 4 years ago
Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2014 his plans to connect the world to the internet. In June 2016, testing continued on their drone, and a recent report has revealed the cause of the Facebook Aquila drone crash during that test.
The flight was to test a number of things, a spokesman said,
“We were happy with the successful first test flight and were able to verify several performance models and components including aerodynamics, batteries, control systems and crew training, with no major unexpected results,”
It seems the crash was maybe not intended, but not unexpected. It appears the cause of the crash was down to turbulence and wind speed, this caused part of the wing to break and subsequently crashed the drone.
An official investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board stated that;
“a simulated landing at 1,250 feet above sea level was performed to test the autoland feature of the autopilot. At the time of the simulated landing, the crew noted that the wind had increased above the intended test limit of 7 knots at flight altitude,”
The investigation then reports;
“At 0737, the crew commanded a landing to the designated landing site. During the final approach, the aircraft encountered an increasing amount of turbulence and wind speeds of up to 10 knots at the surface and 12 to 18 knots, as measured by the aircraft at flight altitude.”
To conclude, the report states that the drone;
“experienced a structural failure with a downward deflection”
It appears the drone could not structurally handle the increase in wind speed and turbulence, and this is something that obviously needed to be tested, and ultimately fixed. Facebook are putting the drone through its paces and pushing the limits. It might be a while before we see them in the skies on official duty, but at least when they are, we know they will have been put through a full and proper test phase. If only some game developers would do the same!
Do you think the crash was as expected as they are making it seem? Or do you think this is a clever cover up to appease investors?