Senior Soft Structures Technician

Mountain View, California /
Engineering – Gas Cell /
LTA Research and Exploration, an aerospace start-up, is seeking a motivated Senior Soft Structures Technician to help build and integrate Gas Cells and Envelopes onto an experimental ‘lighter than air’ flight vehicle. You will work within a dynamic engineering and design team to conceptualize, rapidly prototype, test, and implement innovative solutions for the design, fabrication, and assembly of large experimental flight vehicles. We believe in fast-cycle development and approach to flight hardware development with the motto "build a little, test a little, learn a lot". This unique position allows for hands-on participation through all phases of development, from concept to flight of an experimental aerospace vehicle.


    • Fabrication: Suggests/designs fabrication methods, materials, and processes for soft structures on lighter than air (LTA) vehicles including hull skins, gas cells, cordage, and other soft structures as well as interfaces to the rigid airframe. Demonstration of prototype processes and transfer of processes to fabrication technicians
    • Inspection:  Creates processes and selects tools and measurement methodologies for inspecting soft structures systems in situ.  Often these systems are difficult to access or in confined spaces and the methods selected should be suitable for the location of the installation. The candidate should work with others to establish the frequency of the inspections and the critical attributes to be inspected 
    • Maintenance: Establishes methods for maintaining soft structures with an emphasis on methods that can be performed in-situ.  Where not possible the Senior Technician will work with the design teams to devise removal and reinstallation processes.  They should be able to define processes requiring rope and/or confined space access
    • Repairs: The Senior Technician should be an expert with all methods for repairing soft structures including but not limited to: sewing, heat sealing, adhesives on textiles and films.  They should be familiar with proper methods for cable and rope splicing, knots, and swages


    • Minimum 5 years of experience in fabrication, inspection, maintenance, repairs, or research
    • FAA Airframe and Powerplant license preferred
    • AS/BS in an Engineering discipline is preferred
    • Must have experience with soft structures preferably in an aerospace environment and ideally with LTA vehicles
    • Exposure to heat sealing, adhesives, sewing as well as splicing, knotting, and swaging of cables and ropes 
    • Familiarity with Google Suite (Gmail, Drive, Sheets) and other basic technology

Physical Requirements

    • Ability to work in confined spaces and preferably having received confined spaces training
    • Ability to lift and carry 50 lbs
    • SPRAT Level 2 minimum requirement for working with ropes and level 3 desired.

What We Offer!

    • Relocation assistance
    • Excellent medical, dental, and vision insurance through a PPO plan (100% premium paid for individuals, ~70% for dependents)
    • Company-paid life, AD&D, long-term disability, and short-term disability insurances
    • Parental leave
    • Generous PTO + 10 paid holidays
    • 401(k) matching up to 6%
    • Lunch and snacks provided every day, including accommodations for all dietary restrictions
    • Monthly wellness stipend
    • Monthly cell phone stipend
    • Yearly education stipend to obtain certifications or take classes in your field
    • Mental health benefit
    • Fun events, swag, and the occasional airship ride
    • An opportunity to change the world and work with some of the smartest and the most talented experts from different fields

Compliance Requirements

    • Criminal background check clearance
    • Drug Test clearance wherever applicable
    • Fully vaccinated against COVID

LTA Research & Exploration welcomes all candidates to apply including those with limited experience. We understand that candidates with a growth mindset and passion for working on the next chapter in aviation advancement can outweigh experience alone. We celebrate diverse origins and journeys and understand their importance in developing new technology. Rooted in our humanitarian mission, we want to serve the entire globe and have a team that represents those we wish to serve.

Lighter Than Air is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or any other discriminatory factors prohibited by law.