Flight Test Engineer

Henderson, NV
Flyer – Flight Test
Full-time
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.

At Kitty Hawk we learn by testing.  The Flight Test team has rigorously validated the Flyer vehicle with 25,000+ flights at our test sites in the Bay Area & Las Vegas.  As a Flight Test Engineer you will design test plans to validate the Flyer vehicle from development through customer release. You will use cutting edge data acquisition and processing tools to quantify your results and communicate them back to Engineering in test reports.  You will complete the pilot training program and become a master at flying the vehicle during crewed testing, and demonstration flights. This role is based in Las Vegas, NV.

Within 3 months you will:

    • Learn to fly the Flyer remotely by completing our training program
    • Shadow the test team at the Northern California test site, learning how to operate the site safely
    • Compete in your first Flyer trivia happy-hour (Which 80s movie was the highest grossing film of the decade?)

Within 6 months you will:

    • Collaborate with HW & SW engineering to draft a test plan to validate an upcoming vehicle change
    • Identify and report your first software or hardware bug
    • Mentor a university intern completing technical projects

Within 12 months you will:

    • Lead your first cross-functional project to automate release testing, sharing your results at quarterly all-hands
    • Design test strategy for development of our next-generation vehicle

Responsibilities:

    • Safe operation of the full-scale Flyer vehicle in remote and crewed flight
    • Use ‘big data’ tools to quantify the performance of the vehicle, comparing specific parameters to historical data
    • Collaborate directly with SW and HW engineers to design tests that validate the performance of the product throughout development
    • Deep systems-level knowledge of the vehicle, able to clear identify bugs during operations and communicate them clearly to Engineering
    • Expert in the risk analysis process (DFMEA, PFMEA, SW Hazards Analysis), uses testing to consistently better inform those tools
    • Execution of engineering tests through structured, and unstructured flight
    • Draft concise technical reports documenting the findings, and test data clearly
    • Mentor other Flight Test team members to develop their technical capabilities
    • Lead cross-functional projects that improve the effectiveness or efficiency of team, such as automating release testing
    • Adhere to and continuously improve SOPs for start-up, shutdown, bug reporting, etc.

Requirements:

    • Bachelors of Sciences in Engineering
    • Safety minded, naturally prioritizing the safety of our people above all else
    • Prior experience in test, engineering and/or remote piloting
    • Comfortable operating vehicles remotely, and as a pilot (after completing training program)Great technical communicator, able to brief stakeholders concisely
    • Excited by the prospect of working outdoors 2-4 days / week
    • Travel about 8-days per month consistently
We are headquartered in Mountain View, CA, and have operations in Henderson, NV. 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), and education assistance. And on top of all that, we also offer a variety of perks such as flight lessons, gym membership subsidies, employee referral bonus, charitable giving match, IP bonus program, 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.