Keith Hoffler

Senior Research & Development Engineer

Keith founded Adaptive Aerospace Group (AAG) in 2003 after a 20-year career in aerospace research and development. His career path started with an Associate of Science Degree from Chowan College (now Chowan University) 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.

Post-graduation Keith started his career at ViGYAN and remained there for nearly 18 years. His work migrated from designing ViGYAN’s wind tunnel and aerodynamics experiments to developing aerodynamic models for piloted and batch simulations. The simulation development work morphed his career toward 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. Starting in 1997 his focus began to transition to ViGYAN’s Pilot Weather Advisor (PWA), which used satellite broadcast to put nearly current weather in the cockpit of airplanes in flight. Keith led technical development toward a commercially viable product and business plan development. The effort resulted in the first commercial satellite broadcast solution for “weather in the cockpit” and had both certified and non-certified receiver and display options.

After seeing the weather-in-the-cockpit system to market Keith formed Adaptive Aerospace Group to focus on advancing ideas from low technology levels to levels closer to commercial viability. 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 and other senior engineers at AAG enjoy mentoring the students and young engineers on the team. Keith is technical manager of the broad range of work at AAG now and leads business development. He is also AAG’s company pilot.

Keith earned a private pilot’s license early in his career. Being a pilot has been very helpful in understanding and communicating with 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 License and Instrument Rating and flies the company’s Cessna R182 for business travel and to evaluate various systems. His flying and engineering experience have combined to make him effective in recent work including supporting RTCA SC-228 which is working to develop requirements for integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System and developing and evaluating urban air mobility concepts.

Keith is an active member of the following organizations:

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Associate Fellow
    • General Aviation Technical Committee (chair 2019-2022)
    • Transformational Flight Integration and Outreach Committee
    • Unmanned Systems Integration and Outreach Committee
  • RTCA SC-228 which is developing requirements for UAS Detect and Avoid facilitating their integration in the National Airspace System
  • Advisory Board Member for PEGASAS which is the FAA’s General Aviation Center of Excellence
  • ASTM F44 and F38
  • North Carolina State University Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Hall of Fame

Outside work Keith enjoys flying, golf, kayaking, photography, bicycling, and traveling adventures.

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