Senior Flight Test Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Flight Operations /
Full-time
Here at Kittyhawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kittyhawk’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 a seasoned flight test engineer to join us in leading flight tests of our eVTOL aircraft. You will work closely with all engineering teams to build test plans to support company objectives. Leading a flight test team, you will organize and support the execution of the test plans in coordination with manufacturing and integration groups to ensure configuration requirements are met. 

The ideal candidate should be excited to leverage their demonstrated experience to help pioneer the flight testing and certification of a remotely piloted eVTOL air taxi system. The candidate should have broad flight test experience covering many focus areas within a typical flight test campaign proving an aircraft is ready for operation outside of the test environment.

Within 1 months you will:

    • Be familiar with all aspects of the aircraft and its systems
    • Be familiar with our flight test processes, including data reduction and analysis tools
    • Regularly participate in flight tests

Within 3 months you will:

    • Be fluent with aircraft test procedures and supporting systems
    • Be responsible for design and execution of test plans as a test director
    • Coordinate with multiple teams in support of flight test objectives
    • Identify system and process inefficiencies or deficiencies to support effective flight tests

Within 6 months you will:

    • Own all engineering flight test plans and guide a team of operators through execution
    • Lead implementation of flight test process improvements
    • Effectively leverage all internal and external resources to support flight test objectives

Requirements:

    • Bachelor's or advanced degree in applicable engineering field
    • 5+ years experience in support of flight test engineering, preferably in a prototyping or agile operational environment, piloted or remotely piloted
    • Ability to work closely with engineering, and other test personnel, to design and execute complex tests and operations on fast-paced schedules
    • Proficiency in data analysis with MATLAB, Python, or other scripting tools
    • Hands-on experience with aircraft projects (piloted or remotely piloted)
    • A strong safety culture through the use of SOPs (THA, etc.)
    • Requirements verification
    • Comfortable supporting flight tests in an austere environment
    • A passion for flight

Desired:

    • Private Pilot or higher rating
    • Remote Pilot certificate
    • Experience with first flight efforts of piloted aircraft
    • Proficiency in aerodynamics, aircraft performance, and/or digital flight controls
    • 3+ years of experience supporting a type certification flight test campaign
    • Proficiency in Solidworks or other 3D CAD package
    • Experience designing, building, and/or debugging electrical circuits and systems
    • Experience working on high voltage systems
    • Experience with version control (SVN, git, etc.) and/or PLM (ePDM, Teamcenter, Windchill, etc.) tools
    • Experience with specifying and/or integration of data acquisition devices for flight test
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.

Please note that as of August 15, 2021, all persons working on Kittyhawk company premises must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Applicants may seek an exception through the reasonable accommodation process.

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, Kittyhawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kittyhawk 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, Kittyhawk 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.

Kittyhawk is an E-Verify employer.