The Drone Racing League has announced a renewal and expansion of their partnership with the United States Air Force. In the four previous years the two organizations had partnered, the U.S. Air Force added custom content, virtual drone racing experiences and season-broadcast integrations.
“We began looking into an array of industries,” said DRL president Rachel Jacobson in an interview. “From auto to telecommunications, to develop partnerships with organizations and brands that shared our investment in technology and innovation. When we were introduced to the U.S. Air Force in 2017, we knew they would be such an organic partner for DRL, and that we could provide great value to them in helping them discover and enlist the greatest minds in science, technology and aerospace engineering.”
The U.S. Air Force and the DRL partnership activations include a new U.S. Air Force / DRL FPV 101 Series that features 50 video tutorials on basic maneuvers of drone navigation.
Aspiring pilots will practice lessons from the FPV 101 Series in the DRL SIM, available on PlayStation, Xbox and Steam. The game includes a newly released night-mode version of the U.S. Air Force Boneyard map, where players can fly through a deserted airport in the dark, featuring jet engines, blimps and branded gates along a long runway as obstacles. The daytime version of the Boneyard map hosted the highest-viewed 2020 DRL Allianz World Championship Season race, which saw 20 million fans tune in on Twitter alone.
“Working with the Drone Racing League is critical to boosting our recruiting pool, reaching millions of young fans, who include top drone pilots, engineers and technologists, and we’re excited to continue our partnership with this innovative league,” Maj. Jason Wyche, chief of National Events Branch at Air Force Recruiting Service, said in a statement.
The DRL says its fans are 23 times more likely to follow the Air Force compared to the general U.S. population.
DRL SIM players will also design and develop custom drones in the recently rebranded U.S. Air Force Workbench. They’ll choose from thousands of different drone combinations and over 60 skins, including a U.S. Air Force branded blue canopy, players will build unique quads they can race in the Boneyard maps and other locations in the simulator.