By Paul Bertorelli
As airborne drones find ever more applications, Verizon is testing unmanned aircraft to provide cellphone service after a natural disaster. The 200-pound drones are being used in the latest in a series of tests Verizon has been conducting since 2016, according to USA Today.
The aircraft, which carry equipment called a femtocell, can be deployed quickly to provide focused cell coverage to an area that has lost terrestrial coverage because of storms, fires or other damage. The drones are capable of flight times between 12 and 16 hours and are powered by a 3 hp gasoline engine driving a tractor prop. They're designed to fly at 3000 feet and below.