Videos of drone owners who send their drone into the air in good spirits, and then see him crash uncontrollably on the ground at considerable speed, are very entertaining. But Facebook does have a solution for that, because it just wants to make a drone that is made of parachutes.
The basic idea exists already, a kind of drone rescue device in the form of a parachute that can save your drone if it goes wrong. Facebook goes a step further. It has now applied for a patent on a special drone that uses parachutes to stay in the air. It is called a dual-kite aerial vehicle. Dual-kite, so two parachutes, that work together to keep the drone balanced and in the air. They fly together at different heights and can be controlled independently of each other.
It is remarkable that Facebook is applying for this patent, because the very popular Aquila project was recently dropped. The intention was to build a drone that works on solar energy. A drone with wings that looked more like a glider. Apparently Facebook is now trying to make a drone float in a different way, although it is of course always the question whether the patent application is really meant to make something, or whether it is primarily the creative idea that people want to make sure.
Facebook has probably chosen parachutes because they are not too bad in terms of weight, costs and size. This allows the drone to continue flying around for long periods of time. Facebook would prefer to make it into a whole fleet, which then hangs in the air over a kilometer and possibly generate a bit of Aquila solar energy. The drones are not intended for that purpose, probably precisely for amplifying the internet signal in areas that are not easy to reach.
Whether Facebook is really planning to make these drones is unknown. However, it has previously worked with companies such as Airbus, so we may have to look more in that direction. In any case, Facebook clearly still has great interest in using high-altitude areas. Hopefully a lot of knowledge gained from previous projects that have been canceled can still be used to create something new. We hope that those areas where internet signal cannot reach very easily, will have little trouble with wind. Certainly if you hang a group of drones close to each other on such a kind of kite construction, then there is a strong chance that that nice picture will be considerably disrupted if a strong gust of wind is added.