- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Facebook is looking to extend its reach, and it may have found a way: drones.

On Monday, technology website TechCrunch reported that Facebook is looking to buy Titan Aerospace, the makers of “near-orbital, solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land.”

A source within the company told TechCunch that Facebook was looking to acquire the company for $60 million. Following the disclosure, board member Asher Delung confirmed the ongoing negotiations with the website.

Facebook sees the TechCrunch’s technology as a way to deliver on its plan to bring affordable Internet access to citizens around the world. If Titan drones deliver as advertized, it would give Internet.org — a global partnership among technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts attempting to realize Facebook’s dream — a big boost.

If all goes according to plan, Titan Aerospace would deliver its second-generation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the “Solara 60,″ to Facebook for the task. TechCrunch reported that the aircraft can “carry a payload of up to 250 pounds up to altitudes between 60,000 and 70,000 feet.”

The altitude the UAVs fly at is important because aircraft that operate above 60,000 feet would fall outside FAA regulations. Class A airspace ends at 60,000 feet stateside, TechCrunch reported.



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