Facebook in discussions to buy its own air drone company

4 Mar 2014

In a similar move to Google, Facebook is in takeover discussions with drone manufacturers Titan Aerospace in a bid to bring the internet to the entire world.

Sources close to Tech Crunch have confirmed that the social network is looking to purchase the company for an estimated US$60m.

It is believed Facebook is interested in the drone manufacturer as it looks to use its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to bring the internet to the entire world, as set out in the internet.org agreement Facebook signed up to.

With a fleet of 11,000 Titan Aerospace solar-powered UAVs, Facebook will have these aircraft flying across the globe to provide internet to some of the most remote areas of the planet which have, as yet, been unable to receive the internet.

According to Titan Aerospace’s outline for its Solar 50 and Solar 60 aircraft, the drone would be launched at night, using energy stored in one of its battery packs, and then once the sun rises, will be able to fly continuously on solar energy for an estimated five years.

These aircraft could also be used for a variety of other functions, including weather and disaster monitoring and, of course, live imaging and surveillance.

There has yet to be official confirmation from Facebook but Asher Delung, a Titan Aerospace board member, has confirmed the discussions are taking place.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic