Facebook filed a patent for a drone that could possibly use kites to navigate. These drones, currently called the “dual-kite aerial vehicle”, will be made of two kites floating together at different altitudes.
Facebook continuously expresses interest in experimental aerial vehicles. However, they previously scaled back on the production of their Aquila project.
The kite, which one could direct independently, would most likely use the energy generated from the drone to extend the flight time.
The patent for the drone was first filed in November 2018. It claimed that the kite drone would improve on “more plane or helicopter-like designs by cutting down the weight, cost and size required to keep an aircraft flying for long periods of time.”
Facebook revealed that the kite drones could be quite large with a tether that’s one kilometre-long. Users may operate the drones wirelessly from the ground and generate power through tether movement or solar panels.
The device will be used to boost or provide internet service in areas that are hard to reach.
In 2016, Facebook tested a 900-pound winged aircraft made of carbon fibre called the Aquila. However, in July 2018, there were reports that Facebook was out of the drone design business. It said it would continue with the Aquila project using hardware from aviation companies.
All this information does not actually mean that Facebook will build the drone. It doesn’t even mean this design will beat the options already available.
Furthermore, the design may not mean that Facebook will be able to spread the internet with these drones because of the privacy issues they have had.