Hardware Test Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Avionics /
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. 

In this role you will be responsible for testing, improving, and validating some of Heaviside’s most critical electrical subsystems.  You will work on all levels of validation, from risk identification and test definition, to test execution, to providing design recommendations based on test conclusions.

Within 3 Months You Will:

    • Own the qualification of one or more aircraft components
    • Become familiar with the entirety of our aircraft: power system, avionics, sensors, communication, and redundancy approach
    • Perform subcomponent validation tests for both nominal and off-nominal conditions
    • Collaborate with design engineers to address subcomponent design deficiencies

Within 6 Months You Will:

    • Contribute to FMEA on both subsystem and vehicle level
    • Define, execute, and document validation tests to prove subsystem and vehicle single point of failure tolerance
    • Contribute to architectural discussions regarding our current and future aircraft


    • Failure modes of electrical components, PCBs, and electromechanical subsystems
    • Redundancy and fault tolerance design approaches and techniques
    • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)Writing, executing, and documenting validation test procedures
    • Lab and testing equipment such as power supplies, oscilloscopes, hipot testers, and ESD guns
    • Scripting and automation in Python


    • Experience testing hardware to DO-160Analog and digital circuit design best practices
    • Design for reliability in high vibration and high-temperature environments
    • Experience with reliability testing (HALT/HASS, MTBF calculations)
    • Familiar with DO-254, ARP4761 or ARP4754 design process
    • Familiar with linux environments, git repositories and bazel
    • Familiar with Ethernet, RS422/485, USB, VISA, GPIB
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.