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Flight Test Engineer



Software Engineering, Quality Assurance
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2023

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline is on a mission to transform the way goods move. Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges by building, manufacturing and operating the first instant delivery and logistics system that serves all humans equally, wherever they are. From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes, we are transforming the way things move for businesses, governments and consumers. The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. Through our technology that includes robotics and autonomy, we are decarbonizing delivery, decreasing road congestion, and reducing fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access to billions of people and building a more resilient global supply chain.
Join Zipline and help us to make good on our promise to build an equitable and more resilient global supply chain for billions of people.

About You and The Role

Zipline was founded by engineers dedicated to making the world a better place. We are continuing to innovate in pursuit of that goal and are looking for a talented Flight Test Engineer to help us derisk new concepts and validate anticipated performance targets. Do you love designing system level test campaigns with full ownership and the responsibility to make it happen? Are you collaborative at heart and driven to capture and integrate the needs of various teams into your test programs? At Zipline our work is intended for the field. Patients are counting on it today--there is no time for aiming low or for coming up short. If leveraging your talent to drive test programs to fruition with a small but dedicated team at your side sounds like your cup of tea, please read on.

What You'll Do

  • Develop and execute flight test campaigns that stress our assumptions and validate our aircraft’s performance
  • Cut through the noise to make sure that flight operations is running only the most critical tests
  • Collaborate with electrical, mechanical and software teams to capture system-level flight test criteria
  • Assess hardware and software readiness for testing and make company-level judgment calls on risk appetite for flight
  • Tear down technical and programmatic roadblocks. Make sure issues that slow down flight testing get fully solved by you or others on the team.
  • Be ready to directly own any aspect of flight operations (preflight, flight, incident reporting, etc.), or coordinate these activities with our flight operations team
  • Analyze data from flight test campaigns to identify anomalies or trends and help teams iterate quickly based on these learnings
  • Track test progress and roll out new tools or processes to enable safe and efficient flight testing
  • Motivate and empower the team to tackle challenges

What You'll Bring

  • Experience with flight test definition and management (UAS preferred)
  • Experience enforcing safety in a quickly changing, fast paced environment
  • Experience with flight test data analysis (SQL and Python scripting preferred)
  • Experience with bring-up and debug of hardware / software for automated systems
  • Systems level mindset such that you can balance the needs and risks of structures, aero, embedded, and software engineering teams into one test campaign
  • Understanding of when we can get away with a scrappy solution and when it is worth our time and money to make investments in the future
  • Excitement for the potential to travel domestically and internationally, anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks annually
  • Appreciation for the outdoors and supporting flight test activities in any weather condition
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs on a regular basis
  • Must be eligible to work in the US and have a mode of transportation to reach our test sites

What Else You Need to Know

The starting cash range for this role is $90,000 - $130,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; overtime pay; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!