launching the Air Force Prize

When the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) asked Real Art to help them launch the largest innovation prize in US military history, we knew the right brand, website, and video could catapult the competition to remarkable heights.

Air Force Image

The AFRL leads the discovery, development, and integration of US warfighting technologies for air, space, and cyberspace. This year, they identified the need for an easy-to-maintain, lightweight turbine engine. Aligning with the Air Force’s initiative to cost-effectively accelerate innovation with new partners, the AFRL decided to hold a nationwide competition for the engine’s development—one with a $2 million prize.

The competition needed a brand, website, and promotional video that would establish its legitimacy while inspiring and informing prospective entrants. Real Art set to work creating a visual concept and online experience that would get investors and innovators excited about the newly created Air Force Prize.

But the site’s crowning gem is an engaging video bringing the Air Force Prize’s rules, regulations, and aspirations to life. The computer-animated short positions the Prize well within the pantheon of significant Air Force innovations, beginning with the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight through to the entrants’ speculative engine.

Air Force Image

Visually, the video was created to feel futuristic. Across a vibrant blue sky, points combine into blueprint-like constellations forming aircraft and kinetic typography. The constant motion and sense of progression reinforce the Prize themes of building and invention. Subtle cues—like the video’s widescreen aspect ratio—emphasize the epic scope of the competition and its vast potential. Informative and inspirational, the video has already wowed viewers at trade shows and site visits.

Launch Site

Wave of Media Attention

The Air Force Prize is only just getting started, but it has already received a wave of media attention from publications like Popular Mechanics, Defense One, and Air Force Times. Sign up for the competition’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on new developments, teams, and testing. Watch as the world’s top innovators build the engine of tomorrow.

Additional Work