Dream Job?

Van's RV-14. (Image: Van's Aircraft)
Van’s RV-14. (Image: Van’s Aircraft)

OK, so how many homebuilders haven’t dreamed about working in the kit industry for a living… living the life, flying and building airplanes – and getting paid for it? Yeah…pretty sweet. The truth is – it IS pretty neat to be part of the industry, and yes – you do have to work hard to make a go of it. And while it might be hard to find a way in, occasionally, opportunities do present themselves. For instance, I got a note from Rian Johnson, Lead Engineer at Van’s Aircraft just this afternoon, asking of I might spread the word that they are looking for an engineer – a real, honest to goodness person that can contribute to the future of our industry. As a public service, I include their advertisement here – ya’ll don’t trample one another getting to the computers to apply!

vans-aircraft-b_frontVan’s Aircraft has a new position for an engineer. We are looking for an applicant with a passionate interest in the kit aircraft industry. This position requires a broad mechanical/engineering background and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.

This position will require creative problem solving and innovative thinking. Qualified applicant will possess an aeronautical or mechanical engineering degree, have experience in aircraft structural design, and have an understanding of manufacturing processes. Applicant must work well in a group, individually and as a team leader. Project management skills are desirable. Applicant must possess excellent technical writing and communication skills. It is preferable that the applicant is currently building or has completed construction of an aircraft (experience with RV aircraft is desirable). Proficiency with CAD software is required; ideally SolidWorks and AutoCAD. While not required, a pilot’s license is desirable.

Van’s Aircraft is a small company. As such, the successful applicant will be expected to be very flexible in their role and participate, at times, in all aspects of the design process including design, drafting, technical writing, hands on fabrication/assembly, testing, troubleshooting and any other duties necessary to get the job done. Sometimes more of one than the other…

Compensation commensurate with experience level.

Interested candidates can e-mail resume with “Engineering Candidate” in the subject line to: rianj@vansaircraft.com. No phone calls please.

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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