Principal Aerodynamics Engineer

  • Full Time
  • USA
  • Posted 7 months ago
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

Company Details

The Spaceship Company (TSC) is an affiliate of Virgin Galactic as a space-system manufacturing organization. Headquartered at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, it is building and testing a fleet of WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo reusable spaceships that, together, form Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight system. Like many Virgin companies across the world, it’s a team of talented and dedicated engineers, technicians and professionals that are drawn together by a willingness to disrupt and challenge the status quo to deliver innovative aerospace solutions to our customers’ needs. TSC’s extensive capabilities encompass preliminary vehicle design and analysis, manufacturing, ground testing, flight testing and post-delivery support.

Our Values

TSC and the greater Virgin Organization have a relaxed and informal culture that encourages individuality and innovation.  You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic.  Company culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door”, be a self-starter and possess a sense of humility.  You will work well under pressure and thrive on being given challenges and responsibility.  You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive. You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality.

Who You Are

TSC is seeking an experienced cross-disciplinary engineer with a background in aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics to provide technical leadership and mentorship to the Aerodynamics team.  The candidate will build on an intimate knowledge of all aircraft systems and have the ability to support current programs and extend our tools to conduct trade studies for new project initiatives.

Your Mission

  • Provide technical leadership for the Aerodynamics group.
  • Lead development of Aerodynamic requirements for WK2, SS2 and other vehicles based on customer requirements.
  • Lead the development of processes to support Aerodynamic analysis.
  • Coordinate with ground test and flight test teams to support the qualification of SS2 and WK2 for entry into customer service and lead the creation of test plans to support these activities.
  • Coordinate with management, engineering and other integrated product team staff regarding vehicle design, analysis and testing.
  • Provides technical mentoring to junior engineers in all technical areas.
  • Support loads event simulation model development and validation of handling qualities, stability, and control criteria.
  • Support pre-flight preparation including review of test limitations, flight test plans and procedures, flight readiness reviews, mission control room support, and post flight analysis
  • Works with other engineering groups to ensure proper application of design and P&HQ requirements.
  • Supports entry into commercial service by ensuring that regulatory and internal company requirements related to loads are met.
  • Develop standardized analysis and reporting tools.
  • Perform model updates from data collected during vehicle or component testing and data created with analytical tools.
  • Develop and maintain Performance, Stability, and Control databases for use in analysis of WK2 and SS2 during all flight phases
  • Develop and substantiate rational Performance, Stability, and Control criteria and requirements for unique vehicles with unconventional configurations.
  • Selects appropriate methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria to resolve complex engineering issues.
  • Anticipates and resolves issues by developing standards and guidelines for diverse engineering activities.
  • Problem solves with a balance of emphasis on technical product, cost, and schedule.
  • Determines technical objectives of assignments and makes decisions and recommendations that are recognized as authoritative.
  • Maintains current knowledge of developments in the field of specialty and/or other related spacecraft innovations to improve quality and effectiveness of product.

What you bring

  • Graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering, and/or equivalent, with minimum of 15 years of experience in aerodynamics development
  • Experiences in wind-tunnel and flight test aerodynamic model validation
  • Experience with full aircraft analysis – transonic required, supersonic and launch vehicle desirable
  • Test plan development and data analysis experience a strong plus
  • Experience in the conduct of flight test, including familiarity with standard flight test practices and safety processes strong plus.
  • Working knowledge of aircraft and space systems and familiarity with relevant aerospace standards (FAA, FAA‐AST etc.)
  • Advanced skills with Linux, Python, Simulink, MATLAB, Fortran, C, C++, and software development best practices.
  • CATIA V5 experience preferred
  • Experience with FUN3D, NSU3D, Pointwise, and/or similar RANS and gridding methods

ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

The Spaceship Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with The Spaceship Company is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.


Tagged as: catia v5, faa/faa‐ast, full aircraft analysis, flight test, fun3d/nsu3d/pointwise, linux/python, simulink/matlab, fortran/c/c++

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