Composite Manufacturing Technician

Palo Alto, CA
Heaviside – Production & Manufacturing
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.

In our Heaviside team, we keep a tight coupling between our composite shop, and our design team. As such, we are looking for a composite manufacturing technician who can meaningfully contribute both to volume production and prototype builds as well as suggest and implement process improvements. 

Within 3 months you will:

    • Learn our in house composite manufacturing and assembly processes for existing components
    • Become proficient in using cutting and trimming tools such as CNC machines and hand tools
    • Learn general shop practices to maintain records and to support quality processes
    • Build flight articles of some production parts

Within 6 months you will:

    • Advice on process improvements to improve on build production speed and reduce error 
    • Build flight hardware to support production schedule 
    • Build first articles 
    • Propose and implement design/manufacturing process improvements to support our prototype builds

Within 9 months you will:

    • Define build processes for composite flight hardware and vet changes to those processes, ideally produce or keep up to date associated documentation 
    • Be a critical part of the small manufacturing team building new vehicles

You must have a majority of, but not all, of the following experience and skills:

    • Experience with a detail and quality oriented hands on trade. Examples include composite lamination, fine woodworking sculpting, boatbuilding, etc.
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills 
    • An aptitude for learning hand on skills and an intuition for mechanical systems
    • Be able to stand over prolonged periods
    • Be able to lift/carry up to 50 lbs

Ideally you would also have the following:

    • A pilot’s license experience in related areas of flight, such as RC model aircraft, paragliding, hand glading, etc
    • Experience with other detail oriented hands on hobbies
    • Basic machine shop skills
    • Experience with any halfway decent mechanical CAD program, such as solidworks, NX, Catia, Inventors, Fusion, etc
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.