MICHELIN sponsors Melanie Astles, the first female pilot competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

MICHELIN has been supporting high-level sport for more than 100 years and is continuing this tradition with the partnership sponsoring Melanie Astles.  Her personal journey to overcome many obstacles to become the reigning aerobatics champion of France reflects the passion, perseverance and century-old values of the Michelin group.



Why did MICHELIN choose Melanie Astles?

Melanie Astles is the five-time French aerobatics champion and has finished several times in the top 10 of the world and European Aerobatics championship ranking.  Now, as the Challenger Cup pilot, she enters history as the first woman to compete in the Red Bull Air Race, the ‘must-see’ event in aerial aerobatics.  An outstanding competitor, Melanie symbolizes the spirit of aviation to the owners of aircraft in this segment, and has a focus and a passion that impressed the MICHELIN team.

MICHELIN competes in motorsport events in all vehicle and 2 wheel segments, and aviation is also part of its competitive DNA; in fact as far back 1908 when the first winner of the International MICHELIN Aviation Trophy was Wilbur Wright.

Innovation has placed MICHELIN at the cutting edge of many breakthroughs in aviation tire technology; a few examples:

  • Developed radial technology in 1981 while remaining very present with Bias technology
  • Created in 2001 the radial NZG (Near Zero Growth) technology, which notably helped Concorde to relaunch and is today the high-tech reference
  • Equip almost half of all commercial aircraft flying today
  • Manufactured more than 3 million aircraft radial tires


  • Support up to 35 tons each – i.e. 300 times their own weight
  • Switch from static to 420km/h in a split second when landing
  • Operate at temperatures ranging from-55oC to + 250oC (-67oF to + 428oF)
  • Land up to 30,000 times per day – once every 3 seconds in the world
  • Are inflated with nitrogen up to 15 bar (200 psi), and are tested at 4 times this pressure




Melanie Astles’ personal aircraft will be equipped with MICHELIN tires during its shows and demonstrations.

The premiere of this partnership between MICHELIN and this passionate aerobatics champion, Melanie Astles, takes place on 20 to 22 April 2018 in Cannes.