Virgin Orbit

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Structures Engineer, 747 Structures

Structures Engineer, 747 Structures

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Long Beach
Regular Full-Time

More information about this job

Who we are

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Mechanical Systems & Structural Test Engineer, 747 Structures. If you join us in this position, you will own the airframe and pylon of the 0th stage for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

The Structures Engineer, 747 Structures will be responsible for working alongside a multi-disciplinary team of structural design/analysis engineers and technicians. The position will develop and apply best-in-class practices for leading all aspects of the structural engineering life cycle of the 747, pylon, and supporting systems which includes planning, design, system integration, verification and validation, risk analysis, flight test, bench test, documentation, inspection and repair, certification, and new modification to the primary and secondary structure.

  • Provide technical expertise and direction for design, development, implementation, & verification of existing and new modifications to the B747-400 structure
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities to lead activities and field issues such as failure investigations, root cause analysis and implementation of corrective actions, lessons learned and design standards updates
  • Develop and maintain continued airworthiness plan for modified 747 airframe and pylon system
  • Strong technical expertise to take ownership of Virgin Orbit’s pylon primary structure and maintenance. Responsible for its qualification, inspection & maintenance
  • Own all non-standard hardware on the 747 such as Launch engineer console, gas cargo pallets, antenna modifications, cryogenic material storage, etc…
  • Work with the team to develop an analytical tool to be used to evaluate the 747 primary structure and modifications in support of flight test, continued airworthiness, and future modifications Participate in pre-launch readiness reviews for LauncherOne missions
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…  

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and/or certifications or similar within aerospace, mechanical or similar
  • Ideally 5+ years of structural engineering expertise with the design and analysis of major aircraft structural modification, ideally working alongside a technical team
  • Extensive knowledge of fatigue and damage tolerance
  • Must possess the technical expertise and/or solid understanding of the vehicles structural requirements
  • Strong background in CAD systems and drafting including GD&T
  • Strong analytical background in structural mechanics including FEA
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)


… and you should probably have a bunch of these, too. 

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field is preferre
  • Background or knowledge of orbital launch vehicles
  • Exposure to the design and analysis of carbon fiber composites, including bonded structure
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

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.


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!” Search all of our job


Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit 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.


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