Mechanical Engineer

Palo Alto, CA
Heaviside – Engineering
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.

Here at Kitty Hawk, where a century of aviation practices meets technology breakthroughs and a world-class engineering team, things are looking up. In 1903, the Wright brothers took flight for the first time from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Our journey started by designing, testing and building all-electric vertical take-off and landing products for work and play. Today, in California, we are building on the Wright Brothers’ legacy to create the next generation of vehicles for everyday flight.

We are looking for a mechanical engineer to join the Heaviside project. As a member of a small team, you will have substantial responsibility in the design, testing, and continuous improvement of complex mechanical assemblies that are critical to safe and efficient flight.

Within 3 months you will:

    • Own the design and of a subsystem or mechanism
    • Be responsible for the analysis of all subsystem components using a combination of hand calculations and FEA
    • Release drawings created with GD&T and support the build and testing process

Within 6 months you will:

    • Be the responsible engineer for a significant mechanical system on the aircraft
    • Identify and implement design improvements on the aircraft
    • Work with ground test engineers to design test plans

You must have the following experience and skills:

    • B.S. in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering or a related field
    • 5+ years experience 3D modeling using SolidWorks, NX Nastran, Catia, or an equivalent CAD system
    • High-level and intuitive design capabilities through FEA and hand calculations
    • Experience in design and optimization subject to packaging and weight constraints, especially with light weight materials
    • Knowledge and understanding of common manufacturing methods and their best applications
    • Good communication, documentation, problem solving, and organizational skills
    • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, dynamic and highly-interactive startup environment

Ideally you would also have the following:

    • A pilot’s license or experience in related areas of flight such as RC model aircraft, paragliding, hang gliding, etc.
    • An interest in aircraft, cars, or other complex mechanical systems, and a good knowledge of how they work
    • Manual or CNC machining experience
    • Experience with fatigue analysis 
    • Experience with human factors
    • Experience surfacing complex CAD geometries
    • Experience deriving and working with complex loads, such as those defined by frequency response with a broadband input
We are located in Palo Alto and Hollister, with great access to nice outdoor spaces as well as to airports at both locations. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision and life insurance (company pays 100% of employee premium), unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 50% company matching (no vesting period), commuter assistance, and education assistance. And on top of all that, we also offer a variety of perks such as free catered lunches and snacks, flight lessons, happy hours and many more.

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.