Project Vahana intends to open up urban airways by developing the first certified electric, self-piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft. We envision Vahana being as a cost-comparable replacement for short-range urban transportation like cars or trains. A core premise of this project is that full automation and sense-and-avoid technology will allow us to achieve higher safety levels by minimizing human error while allowing more vehicles to share the sky. As a platform, Vahana can be as diverse as its wheeled grounded counterpart when being used for cargo delivery,  emergency services, search and rescue, or even as a tool to deploy modular infrastructure in disaster sites. There is no other project that we know of that incorporates this much automation in vertical flight. With Airbus’ long history in aircraft certification and safety, we are uniquely positioned to realize large-scale automated flight within urban environments.

Deputy Chief Engineer
Santa Clara, CA

As our Deputy Chief Engineer, you will report directly to the Chief Engineer and be responsible for managing the technical design of a new multi-rotor, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. You are comfortable interacting with cross-disciplinary internal and contractor teams. You have been involved in the development and testing of new aircraft, including technical management of small engineering teams. You have a strong background in aircraft sizing, aerodynamics, aerospace structures, flight dynamics, and propulsion systems.


To get specific, your responsibilities will be to assist the chief engineer with:

  • eVTOL aircraft design trade studies and optimization
  • Coordinating internal engineering teams and leading design reviews
  • Contractor technical management including writing of RFIs and RFPs
  • Overseeing subsystem testing and flight testing

Required experience:

  • Aircraft structural sizing and design experience
  • Familiarity with 14 CFR Parts 21, 23, 27, and 35
  • MS or PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering or a related discipline
  • Excellent communication skills (strong coordination and relational skills to deal with customers, authorities, internal and external partners)
  • Experience with leading diverse teams
  • At least 10 years of progressively ambitious relevant aerospace experience ( aircraft design, technical project management, systems engineering, etc…)
  • Electric propulsion system knowledge

Desired experience:

  • Experience with aerospace quality control and manufacturing
  • Experience with multidisciplinary design optimization
  • Familiarity with market based economic models and aircraft direct operating cost models
  • Agile methods, and related tools, e.g. JIRA, Bitbucket;
  • Python and/or Matlab proficiency
  • Version control with Git or another DVCS
  • Experience with CAD (Solidworks or CATIA preferred)


A3 by Airbus is the Silicon Valley R&D outpost of Airbus. The mission of Airbus is to make things fly. Our job at A3 is very simple: we seek to disrupt Airbus (and the competition) before anyone else can. And in the process, we are setting out to build the future of flight.

At A3, we execute projects and foster partnerships. Projects are ambitious, risky and time-constrained undertakings that culminate in a demonstration at convincing scale—something that’s more than a mere prototype, but somewhat short of a product.

A3 develops technology partnerships enabling us to work within the Silicon Valley ecosystem to meet project objectives while connecting our parent company to new developments and the talent here. We also strive to partner with different elements of Airbus to serve as transition targets and sponsors of projects that emerge from A3.

By the way, you might be interested to know that we offer a killer benefits package as well as a flight training benefit, just in case you don’t already have your pilot’s license!

A3 by Airbus is an equal opportunity employer in every category. The data is incontrovertible that diversity leads to better teams, better performance, and better results. Consequently, we actively seek candidates of all genders, backgrounds, and experiences.

All job offers at A3 are contingent upon the candidate passing an export control check.