connectivity aircraft
n. A drone or similar aircraft outfitted with networking equipment that enables it to provide internet access to the area over which it flies.
The deal would give Google a major boost in its race with Facebook to connect remote parts of the world to the internet. The social network has been working with experts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center to develop its own 'connectivity aircraft' for the purpose.
—Sophie Curtis, “Google boldly goes into space with Virgin Galactic,” The Telegraph, June 13, 2014
At the end of March, Zuckerberg unveiled a new Facebook lab he will fill with aeronautics experts and space scientists. Their goal is to develop what Zuckerberg calls "connectivity aircraft" that can soar overhead and deliver Internet to people who live in remote places and have yet to discover the joy of cat videos.
—Kevin Maney, “Dark Side of the Loon,” Newsweek, April 09, 2014
2014 (earliest)
Our team has many of the world's leading experts in aerospace and communications technology, including from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center. Today we are also bringing on key members of the team from Ascenta, a small UK-based company whose founders created early versions of Zephyr, which became the world’s longest flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft. They will join our team working on connectivity aircraft.
—Mark Zuckerberg, “Connectivity Lab at Facebook,” Facebook, March 27, 2014