Avionics Hardware Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Hardware Engineering /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kitty Hawk’s latest high-performance electric VTOL vehicle. It is designed to be fast, small, and exceedingly quiet, taking advantage of new possibilities to free people from traffic. 

As a member of Heaviside’s small avionics team, you will work on a variety of aircraft systems from the triplex flight computer to the air data system.  We encourage our engineers to take ownership of systems, so you’ll be an energetic, adaptable engineer who can gather inputs, research the unknown, and propose solutions.  You will work on all levels of the design, from high-level system architecture to PCB layout.  Your time will be split between design, bench, and flight test as we accelerate the future of aviation.


    • Design and debug avionics circuits and embedded systems as part of the electrical system team
    • Develop new design concepts through evaluation, simulation, and testing
    • Derive requirements and drive failure mode engineering analysis for electrical systems in the context of safe, reliable vehicle development
    • Imagine and develop new test and measurement platforms as the needs arise
    • Work with manufacturing on moving electrical systems through production
    • Respond quickly to support, debug, and assist flight operations with stop-flight electrical system issues

You should be familiar with all, proficient with most and expert at some of the following, in no particular order:

    • Electrical engineering fundamentals
    • Digital or analog circuit design, component selection, PCB layout, board bring-up
    • Familiarity with embedded systems, micro-controllers, and peripheral communications
    • Sensor integration both digital (I2C, SPI) or analog (ADC / signal conditioning)
    • Programming or scripting of hardware (Python or C/C++ for example)


    • Design for manufacture both for PCBAs and top level assemblies
    • Design for reliability in high vibration and high temperature environments
    • Experience with motor control or power conversion
    • Exposure to high speed or other standard communication interfaces (RS-485, RS-422, CAN, Ethernet)
    • Strong skill with embedded systems development platforms

Within 3 Months You Will:

    • Become familiar with our aircraft’s electronics systems and redundancy approach
    • Help integrate, debug, and test electronics on our aircraft
    • Get to know our shared embedded codebase and related tools

Within 6 Months You Will:

    • Research, de-risk, test key developments within new electrical subsystems
    • Design, develop, and test circuits and systems which meet emerging requirements
    • Think through the failure modes of new hardware in the larger vehicle context
You should be able to work in a team as a collaborator and individual contributor.  It is important to be an efficient communicator, avid documenter, and cooperative team player.

You should be able to describe your contributions to previous personal, academic, open source and/or professional projects that you are most proud of.

We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

All of our team whose roles allow them to work remotely are doing so, and will continue to do so until we’re able to be back in the office. For teams that are not able to work remotely we’re making every accommodation possible to provide a safe working environment, and ensuring we meet all state and county guidelines. 

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 40% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kitty Hawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kitty Hawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kitty Hawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Kitty Hawk is an E-Verify employer.