Software Engineer, Real-time Systems
Kitty Hawk
 Palo Alto, CA
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.

We are looking for an experienced Real-time System Engineer to join the software and controls group in the Heaviside team. Your primary responsibility will be to ensure that the low-level systems used for flight control and monitoring perform reliably and always satisfy timing and throughput requirements.  You will work with the software and controls teams to derive functional requirements from safety targets, design software and hardware systems to meet these requirements and implement, validate and flight test the design.


  • Perform the design and software work required to bring prototype platforms to reliability levels needed for human flight
  • Interface with external RTOS suppliers, including managing supplier performance and delivery
  • Determine how quantified safety targets break down into requirements for software, firmware, and hardware systems
  • Design and build tools needed to monitor and validate that the computing systems on prototype platforms meet safety requirements


  • Equivalent of MS in Computer Science or related engineering field
  • Strong embedded development skills
  • Experience with hard real-time system design and operation at the millisecond scale or faster
  • Familiarity with modern software development processes and tools (Linux, Bazel, Git, Gerrit, CI, etc.)

Desirable Experience:

  • Experience with manned flight test program
  • Experience with safety-critical software development (DO-178C, MISRA, etc.)
  • Experience using, programming for and characterizing performance of commercial RTOS platforms and/or Linux/PREEMPT_RT
  • Experience doing hardware-in-the-loop testing
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.