Mechanism Design Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Aerostructures /
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. 

This position requires a problem solving mindset, a curiosity and willingness to invent, test, refine, and deliver robust high-performing designs. You will work closely with aerodynamics, other designers, manufacturing, UX/ID, testing, and supply chain to realize key aspects of the design. You will optimize for the whole system, not just your parts.


    • Own the design of key mechanical systems
    • Follow projects through from inception to completion. From brainstorming/ideation, to concept selection, prototypes, analysis/testing, and to the shop floor. 
    • Find the fastest way to derisk concepts, whether by analysis or prototypes, or both
    • Create and maintain detailed CAD model of components and assemblies
    • Hold design reviews and other documents to communicate with others
    • Work side by side with manufacturing to build prototypes and create work instructions
    • Test and substantiate your own products


    • Experience designing and building complex assemblies
    • Great mechanical intuition and hands on skills
    • Fluent in CAD, 50+ part assemblies and drawings. Bonus for CATIA/3DExperience.
    • Analysis experience with assemblies, moving parts, and linkages
    • Ability to create and interpret engineering drawings


    • Understanding of FAR regulations and certified aerospace design practices
    • Experience in vendor management for custom technical products
    • Experience working in small aircraft design and certification
    • Demonstrated experience in designing high-reliability, mass-constrained designs
    • Strong understanding of engineering processes required for mechanism design
    • Related hobbies or pursuits, including as a pilot, RC aircraft builder, robotics, fabrication, etc.
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.

All of our team whose roles allow them to work remotely are doing so, and will continue to do so until we’re able to be back in the office. For teams that are not able to work remotely we’re making every accommodation possible to provide a safe working environment, and ensuring we meet all state and county guidelines. 

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.