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2011-2013 - 3 French Champion titles in Tandem category

2013 - 1st female and 9th out of 51 at the European Championships in Radom (Poland)

2014 - 2nd at the French Open "Advanced" in Châteauroux

2014 - French Champion "Excellence" in Falaise

2014 - 1st female and 7th out of 66 at the World Championships in Dubnica (Slovakia)

2015 -Champion of France "Unlimited" in Epernay

Member of the French team, World Unlimited champion team in Châteauroux in 2015

In 2015, Mélanie is the 5th woman in the world level"Unlimited"

In 2016, integrated into the Challengers – Red Bull Air Race section

2018 - 3rd female, French Unlimited Championship

2018 - 3rd overall, French Open, Unlimited




2016 – integrated the Challengers Cup in Red Bull Air Race

2016 – 2nd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA

2017 – 3rd in Abu Dhabi

2017 – 3rd in Porto, Portugal

2017 – 1st at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA

2018 – 4th finish, out of the 4 races run this year

2019 – 2nd in Abu Dhabi

In 2022, Mélanie was promoted from Challenger to Masters Class (Aero GP1) when the Red Bull Air Race were due to re-start, but the Covid pandemic put a stop to the races.

Melanie Astles

Born in Rugby (United Kingdom) in 1982, she moved to the south of France with her family at the age of 3 and has French and British nationalities. Mélanie studied in Beausoleil then in Monaco at the Charles III college and the Albert 1er high school.


She left school and Monaco in 2000 at the age of 18, without having completed her baccalaureate. She entered  active life by working in petrol  stations to earn a living and she put aside her childhood dream: to fly and become a pilot. Alongside her work, she studied to obtain the equivalent of the baccalaureate which she did in 2004.


She took her first flying lesson only at the age of 21 and then took lessons to obtain her PPL (Private Pilot Licence) with the minimum number of hours. On the strength of this success, she continued the lessons and quickly obtained her ATPL (Professional Pilot's License).


2006: she was offered the opportunity to take part in aerobatics. She was immediately won over and showed a talent for this discipline very early on.  She also won her first title of champion of France in 2007 (Espoir category). She then won several titles over the following years, and to date holds 6 titles of champion of France, all levels combined.


In 2015, she was part of France Unlimited team, world champion as a team in the discipline. Mélanie ranks among the top 5 women pilots in the world at the highest level in aerobatics.


From 2011 to 2016, she worked as an instructor for airline pilots at the prestigious Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile (ENAC) in Grenoble. 


Since 2016, she has participated as a Challenger in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, as the first and still only woman in the sport. In two seasons, she made 4 podiums and a first place in Indianapolis in 2017.


In Cannes, Mélanie set the fastest time but also exceeded the 10 G allowed, receiving a 2 second penalty, unfortunately placing her in 4th place.


In May 2018, Mélanie realized one of her biggest childhood dreams by flying a fighter plane: the RAFALE. Authorized to fly, she participated in a dog fight with a second Rafale.

Mélanie Astles championne de voltige aérienne en championnat de France

From dream to reality


Mélanie Astles is an aeronautical enthusiast and an accomplished aerobatic pilot. Six times French aerobatic champion in 5 distinct levels, from Hope in 2007 to Elite in 2021, and she made history in 2016 by becoming the first lady to compete in the famous plane races Red Bull Air Race as a Challenger Cup driver. In 2019, she became British champion, as well as vice-champion of France Elite and ranked 7th female in the world aerobatics in the same category. 


Her path is an inspiring example of perseverance and determination. When she left school at 18 to enter the professional life, no one could have imagined that she would one day realize her childhood dream of becoming a pilot. But thanks to her passion, her willpower and her hard work, she was able to reach unimaginable heights. Her story is above all made of passion, perseverance and self-transcendence. All disciplines combined, she totals more than 4500 flight hours.


Mélanie is a public figure present on social networks, during her conferences and air shows in which she participates all over the world each year. She loves sharing her dreams with the public and inspiring people to pursue theirs.


My news:

To learn more about Mélanie Astles and her inspiring journey, follow her on social media.

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