Keith D. Hoffler-President, Senior Research & Development Engineer
Keith Hoffler founded Adaptive Aerospace Group in 2003 after a 20-year career of aerospace research and development. His career path started with an Associate of Science Degree from Chowan College followed by both Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. Keith’s Master’s Degree research and thesis were supported by NASA Langley and was a study of aerodynamic concepts for improving low speed performance of supersonic aircraft. The research included wind tunnel and computation fluid dynamics experiments.
Post-graduation Keith started his career at ViGYAN and remained there for nearly 18 years. His first assignment at ViGYAN was to design a Low-Speed Wind Tunnel including the tunnel layout, shape, flow control, and building layout to support operations. ViGYAN’s tunnel remains very productive today. His work migrated from aerodynamics to developing aerodynamic models for piloted and batch simulations. This morphed his career to handling qualities, flight controls, stability and control, and human factors research in both simulation and flight tests while supporting NASA Langley’s Flight Dynamics Branch, Dynamic Stability and Control Branch, and others. In the mid-1990’s Keith was promoted to Vice President of Aerospace Product Development at ViGYAN. While in this role he worked on development of a database system for managing wind tunnel, CFD, and flight test data related to NASA’s High Speed Civil Transport program. He also worked on abort requirements for a lifting body in the event it needed to return to the land at the launch site. His main focus became ViGYAN’s the Pilot Weather Advisor (PWA), which used satellite broadcast to put weather in the cockpit of airplanes in flight. Keith accepted the lead of this work soon after the first demonstration prototype had flown. He led technical and business plan development in an effort that resulted in selling the PWA intellectual property to WSI. Part of the deal required Keith to go to work for WSI. While he was at WSI the product was renamed WSI InFlight. During his tenure WSI received the Aircraft Electronics Association manufacturer of the year award.
Keith preferred research and development so he left WSI and formed Adaptive Aerospace Group to get back to what he enjoys: trying to figure out things that don’t work yet. The company name comes from a suggestion from a friend who noted Keith’s “Adaptive” career. The company has grown and supported graduate students that are now in industry and others that remain at AAG. Keith enjoyed mentoring them. Keith is technical manager of the work at AAG now that includes work on NASA’s Low-Boom Supersonic demonstrator, integration of UAS in the NAS, NextGen Air Traffic Control concepts, and advanced avionics concepts.
Keith earned his private pilot’s license early in his career. It was a dream of his since going up with an uncle when he was 8 years old. Being a pilot has proven to be very helpful in understanding and communicating with the test pilots as well as developing and performing verification and validation of the piloted simulations. It also proved to be highly motivating while developing Pilot Weather Adviser and bringing it to market. Keith now holds a Commercial/Instrument Rating and flies the company’s Cessna R182 for business travel and to evaluate various systems. His flying and engineering experience are both key to his current roles in RTCA SC-228, working to develop requirements for integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System.
Outside work Keith enjoys flying, golf, kayaking, photography, and traveling adventures.