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.

Flight Test Engineer
Santa Clara, CA

As our Flight Test Engineer, you will report directly to the Head of Flight Controls, Flight Software and Subscale and be responsible for planning and conducting sub-scale and full-scale autonomous eVTOL flight testing.


To get specific, your responsibilities will be to:

  • Plan and execute hardware and software integration of avionics components on sub-scale vehicles
  • Provide feedback about the performance of the vehicle, including detailed notes and observations during flight test events
  • Curation of flight and ground test data and video
  • Develop flight and ground test data analysis tools capable of supporting an agile and fast-paced test campaign, and employ them to assist in confirming performance, identifying and diagnosing issues, and collaborating on solutions.
  • Perform various manual tasks including moving vehicles, batteries, and other heavy equipment
  • Continually evaluate sub-scale flight test procedures and operations and enact changes to improve data quality, efficacy and efficiency


Required experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and/or Computer Science or a related discipline
  • UAS/RPA design/build/fly
  • UAS/RPA flight test
  • Hands on experience with RC avionics
  • Flight data analysis
  • You love flight-testing subscale aircraft and don't mind waking up at the crack of dawn or driving 50 miles to find the best conditions to gather the best test results!
  • Workshop mechanical and electronic tool usage: Hand tools, laser cutters, 3D printers, soldering equipment, oscilloscopes etc.

Desired experience:

  • MS or PhD with significant experimental air vehicle project(s)
  • Air vehicle simulations
  • Embedded/microcontroller development including sensor interfacing
  • Developing and debugging in interpreted and compiled languages (Python, C/C++)
  • Version control with Git or another DVCS;
  • Solidworks
  • MATLAB/Simulink with code generation
  • Simulation model development, validation, refinement
  • Linux device driver development
  • Wireless digital communication systems (IP radios, etc.)
  • Cross-platform development, esp. Linux, MacOS
  • Cloud computing
  • Agile methods, and related tools, e.g. JIRA, Bitbucket;
  • Fixed-wing/helicopter RC pilot
  • FAA Part 107 licensed drone pilot

A³ by Airbus is the Silicon Valley R&D outpost of Airbus. The mission of Airbus is to make things fly. Our job at 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 , 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.