Built by AeroVironment in partnership with the investment firm Softbank, the Hawk 30 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, will use those 10 engines to get it to an altitude of 12.5 miles (66,000 feet). From there, it will be able to beam a 5G Internet connection down to the ground. The engines are electric and powered by solar energy, so the drone could theoretically stay in the air for extended periods of time.
Digital Trends reports that the Hawk 30, still a prototype, may log its first flight any day now out of the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, per an agreement with NASA. Over the next three months, the drone is expected to complete a series of test flights ranging up to about 1.86 miles.