A Japanese telecommunications giant and a California-based drone builder intend to start a drone-delivered internet service by 2023. The two companies, Softbank and AeroVironment, say they’ve assembled the first one already, according to materials (pdf) on SoftBank’s website in April.
The HAWK30 drone has a wingspan of 260 feet and is powered by solar panels mounted on the wings that drive 10 electric motors. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will fly in the stratosphere at 65,000 feet above sea level (12 miles), AeroVironment says in a press release. That’s around twice the altitude that many passenger planes fly at.