TECH

Facebook To Acquire Titan Aerospace, Maker Of Solar-Powered Drones?

04/03/2014 10:32 GMT | Updated 04/03/2014 10:59 GMT

Facebook is reportedly in talks to buy a company which makes huge, solar-powered drones.

Titan Aerospace builds unmanned aircraft which it claims are capable of remaining in altitudes of around 20km for up to five years without refuelling or landing for maintenance.

Facebook, which is one of the backers of the Internet.org initiative to widen access to the developing world, is apparently interested in using the drones to host airborne hotspots.

The program is similar to Google's Project Loon, which would use giant balloons to achieve a similar goal.

titan aerospace

But instead of building its own drones, Facebook is apparently ready to spend a bit of money to get there faster.

Techcrunch reports that it is in talks with Titan Aerospace over a potential acquisition worth about $60 million - or 300 times less than WhatsApp.

Techcrunch says Facebook would build 11,000 Solar 60 drones at first, deploying them over African airspace. The planes fly high enough to be classed as satellites, flying above the 60,000 feet threshold that US regulators consider their 'Class A' airspace.

The talks or deal have not been confirmed by either party, however, and so far there are no confirmed plans. But it would be a bold a futuristic move if it did happen. We're just not sure how an army of robot Facebook planes would look to the people living beneath them on the ground…