Sr. Flight Test Engineer

Palo Alto, CA
Heaviside – Flight Test
Full-time
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 flight test engineers to join us in testing a new class of all-electric personal aircraft.  You will be working closely with ground test, flight test, avionics, electric propulsion, structural, aerodynamics, and controls engineers to flight test a revolutionary new aircraft.  You will develop test plans, write test cards, participate in flight readiness reviews and hazard analysis, direct ground and flight tests, monitor real-time telemetry, perform data analysis, write test reports and document test results, and troubleshoot issues on the aircraft.  You’re comfortable making decisions in the face of uncertainty. You’re as excited to execute flight test ‘firsts’ as you are to lay the foundation to enable high rate operational flight testing to capture real-world lessons that you learn along the way to make our product even better.

Within 3 months you will:

    • Be familiar with the aircraft and its systems
    • Be familiar with our flight test processes
    • Regularly participate in flight tests
    • Build a flight test campaign and associated processes in support of manned flight

Within 6 months you will:

    • Be fluent with the test aircraft and its systems
    • Be a primary member of a flight team in the GCS
    • Coordinate with multiple teams in support of flight test objectives
    • Execute a flight test campaign in support of manned flight

Within 9 months you will:

    • Lead a flight team as test director
    • Continue to build and execute flight tests based on system changes
    • Design tests to validate aircraft performance and usability in its target application

Required:

    • Bachelor's or advanced degree in applicable engineering field, or equivalent
    • 3+ years experience flight testing, preferably in a prototyping or agile operational environment, manned or unmanned
    • 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 (manned or unmanned)
    • A strong safety culture through the use of SOPs (THA, etc)
    • 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 manned aircraft
    • Proficiency with Linux
    • Proficiency in aerodynamics, aircraft performance and/or digital flight controls
    • 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 designing and building mechanical and/or structural systems
    • Experience with version control (SVN, git, etc.) and/or PLM (ePDM, Teamcenter, Windchill, etc.) tools
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.