Director of Quality

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Manufacturing /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are leading the race to market with our all-electric  Vertical Take off 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. 

We are looking for an experienced Quality Director who will develop our Quality Management System and carry us through production certification, including in-process inspection, purchased parts inspection, product inspection, non-conformity management and documentation, supplier qualification, supplier quality, and performance.

Quality Management System Responsibilities:

    • Experience with Quality Management Systems under the AS9100 standard and FAA QMS requirements
    • Develop procedures to ensure that products and processes comply with engineering requirements, company guidelines, and government regulations
    • Write process documentation to comply with the AS9100 standard and FAA requirements

Quality Engineering Responsibilities:

    • Define visual inspection and testing plan for the entire Heaviside production process. Identify the various inspection/test points throughout the process and the precise criteria that should be controlled to produce a compliant product every time. 
    • Convert engineering specifications into clear, simple to execute inspections, control points, and quality work instructions
    • Integrate quality instructions and inspection requirements into our Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
    • Define product and material traceability and genealogy requirements to comply with AS9100 standards
    • Create KPIs that represent the quality of the product. Analyze data with statistical methods to identify trends and opportunities for improvement. 
    • Be a liaison and support the Flight Test team to identify the top defects causing vehicle damage or excessive repair time

Quality Assurance Responsibilities:

    • Conduct visual inspection and testing on parts receiving and production activities
    • Manage the Root-Cause, Corrective-Action process, ensuring that corrective action is implemented to prevent defects that occur in the plant and/or supplier(s) from happening again
    • Respond to the production line when discrepancies are spotted and disposition defects in real time
    • Set up a Quality Lab with the tools required to ensure product quality performance

Supplier Quality Responsibilities:

    • Develop criteria for source selection and be a key player in the source selection process.  Verify suppliers’ ability to meet product quality requirements and support business decisions.
    • Manage and improve the performance of our supply base through processes such as quality requirements flow down, supplier quality management system approvals, and coordination of verification activities of purchased products.
    • Communicate defective conditions to vendor partners and develop and manage supplier corrective action request (SCAR) / non conformance report (NCR) process
    • Plan and assign supplier audits and assessments, initiating corrective action, and establishing supplier improvements


    • Bachelor's Degree,  Master’s Degree preferred
    • 8+ years experience in Manufacturing Quality environment and experience with AS9100
    • Direct interaction with the FAA while pursuing type certificates and production certificates
    • Open to international and domestic travel to suppliers
    • Demonstrated managerial experience in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a team
    • Experience training and coaching team members to successfully integrate them into their operations
    • Experience working with an MES system (traceability and genealogy, quality issues tracking, work instruction execution, etc.)
    • Familiarity with a wide variety of technologies: PCB assembly, wire harness manufacturing, carbon fiber & composites fabrication, bonding, avionics assembly, electrical sub-assemblies (low & high voltage), and fiber optic/wire harness routing.
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.