According to Bloomberg Business, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident wherein Google's solar-powered Solara 50 plane reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff. The event occurred on May 1st at a private airfield outside of Albuquerque and no injuries were reported. Recent Google acquisition Titan Aerospace built the 50-meter-wide (164 ft) drone as part of an ambitious Google plan to deliver global internet connectivity via stratospheric drones.
"Although our prototype plane went down during a recent test, we remain optimistic about the potential of solar-powered planes to help deliver connectivity," Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman, told Bloomberg. "Part of building a new technology is overcoming hurdles along the way." This week, the Mountain View-based company also showed off the latest from its balloon-based system dubbed Project Loon.