Controls Engineer

Mountain View, CA
Cora – Software
At Kitty Hawk, we’re revolutionizing the future of air travel.

Our world-class engineering team is combining a century of aviation practices with technology breakthroughs to produce Cora, the world’s first self-piloting air taxi.

In 1903, the Wright brothers took flight for the first time from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Today, we’re designing and building all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for everyday flight. We’ve been at work on Cora since 2010, tackling some of the biggest challenges in aviation.  Join us in making that dream a reality.

We are looking for a Flight Controls Engineer to join us in designing an exciting new class of all-electric personal aircraft. You will be responsible for imagining and implementing controls algorithms, state estimation methods and self-flying autonomy software. You will write code that runs on small scale and full scale airplanes and be responsible for supporting flight test of those new algorithms. You will develop and bring about safe autonomous flight.

Within 3 months you will:

    • Get to know the team
    • Learn from others about the software development processes in place
    • Get familiar with the system and code base
    • Support flight test activities ; analyze flight logs
    • Review flight code written by the rest of the team
    • Write code and fly it!

Within 6 months you will:

    • Continue learning about the aircraft
    • Identify issues in flight code and propose/implement solutions or improvement
    • Take ownership of new features and design/write algorithms
    • Implement new models in our physics engine to enable better modeling of the system

Within 12 months you will:

    • Reach high level of familiarity with autonomous sensor suite, software architecture and code base
    • Contribute to software development and testing framework
    • Keep writing self-flying code


    • B.S. or M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science with at least 3 years of experience
    • Knowledge of estimation and control theory
    • Practical experience with design and implementation of control systems
    • Strong C and Matlab software engineering skills
    • Strong simulation physical modeling background
    • Strong linear algebra and calculus skills
    • Background in optimization
    • Background in probabilities
    • Familiarity with Linux/Unix environment

    • Desired:
    • Experience with path planning or trajectory optimization or GNC (Guidance Navigation and Control)
    • Experience with computer vision based state estimation
    • Experience with robotics and embedded systems
    • Experience with sensors/sensor fusion: accels, gyros, GPS, pressure transducers, vision, lidar, radar, ultrasound … etc
    • Good grasp of aerodynamics and aircraft flight dynamics
    • Experience with manned aircraft requirements
    • Background in machine learning (ML) or artificial intelligence (AI)

We are located in Mountain View just a couple of hundred feet from Shoreline Lake and its surrounding walking/jogging trails. 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, flight lessons, gym membership subsidies, snacks, drinks, fruits, employee referral bonus, charitable giving match, IP bonus program, 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.