Using Drone Technology to Improve Safety with Zachary Adams, USAFA ‘13

Sep 30, 2022 | USAFA

“Academy grads have a special kind of independence and willingness to do things that are really difficult and see things through in the long term…I think that hardens your character and makes you push through…We really want to emphasize some of these core values: to present good opportunities to our team members and do operations in a way that’s honest and in a way that’s not only good for our customers but also benefits the greater good. The Academy has provided really strong values for executing those missions.”
– Zachary Adams (USAFA ‘13)

Zach Adams is a former F-15E Strike Eagle pilot in the U.S. Air Force and Co-Founder of Pitch Aeronautics (Pitch Aero), an unmanned aircraft startup company commercializing cyclorotor propulsion technology to save money and save lives. Zach is applying his doctoral research experience to develop and enable drones to physically interact with surfaces. Their drone prototype, “Astria” can perform up-close, touch, and robotic tasks that can replace expensive rope, crane, and helicopter access inspections, which are among the most dangerous jobs in America. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why Pitch Aero is developing a drone to carry out industrial inspections and how the idea was born
  • How Pitch Aero’s drone services concrete infrastructure and aids powerline installation
  • Why engineering is Zach’s passion 
  • Lessons learned from raising capital for the first time
  • Why Zach and his fellow Academy grad co-founder make a great team

Zach also shares how he and the Pitch Aero team are working to achieve a product market fit and eventually become the industry leader in robotic drone technology. He also discusses specific ways their seed round of funding will help them continue to grow and reflects on the benefits of being an Academy grad in a startup venture. Pitch Aero’s drone technology is amazing and we wish Zach and his team continued success as they work to save lives and money through their innovative technologies.

Connect with Zachary:

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Special thanks to Zach for joining me this week. Until next time!

-Scott Mackes, USNA ’01

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