Melissa Burns

High-Flying Adventures

Born passionate about the sky, Melissa Burns took the aviation world by storm at a young age. At just 22, she became the youngest female member of the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Team in history, a testament to her remarkable skill, dedication, and ambition. Since then, Burns has participated in countless prestigious competitions and events, continually pushing the limits of what is possible in aviation and extreme sports.

One of her crowning achievements occurred in 2015, when Melissa won the Wingsuit B.A.S.E. race at the Extreme Sports Week in Voss, Norway, becoming the Women’s World Champion. This victory further solidified her status as a trailblazer in the industry, earning her the title of “Fastest Woman in the World.” That same year, Burns took part in a record-breaking 164-way vertical skydiving formation, showcasing her exceptional skills in teamwork and coordination.

Melissa Burns is no stranger to the world stage, having participated in the Wingsuit World League in China for the women’s race multiple times. She has also proudly represented her country as a current US Unlimited Aerobatic Team member. In 2015, her outstanding accomplishments were acknowledged with an induction into the prestigious Embry-Riddle Chancellor’s Hall of Fame.

Burns is a renowned competitor and an innovative performer, taking part in groundbreaking stunts in her Edge 540 airplane that captivate audiences worldwide. In June 2016, she participated in a first-of-its-kind aviation stunt. She flew her stunt airplane beneath a motocross freestyle rider executing a backflip and a slackline artist balancing on his slackline simultaneously. This awe-inspiring display of precision and fearlessness is just a taste of the breathtaking spectacles awaiting the Abbotsford International Airshow attendees.

The Edge 540 Airplane

The Edge 540 is a high-performance aerobatic aircraft widely known for its exceptional aerobatic capabilities. Zivko Aeronautics designed this experimental single-engine, single-place airplane as a show plane, but it later became famous for military training and international aerobatic competitions. 

With its steel tube fuselage, composite wings, empennage, and fairings, the Edge 540 has a modified Lycoming IO-540EXP engine that delivers 310 horsepower at 2700 RPM. It can achieve speeds of up to 350 km/h (217 mph) in level flight or over 400 km/h (248 mph) during takeoff, making it an ideal place for competition aerobatics and airshow displays. 

The aircraft has a unique John Roncz airfoil design, an impressive roll rate of 420 degrees per second, and a climb rate of 3,700 feet per minute. The Edge 540 is certified under 14 CFR 21.191 in the experimental category, and its dimensions are length: 20ft 7”, height: 7ft 9”, and span: 24ft 4”. The plane’s impressive performance and sleek design make it a popular choice for many pilots, and it is the most commonly used aircraft in the Red Bull Air Race World Series.

Get Your Tickets Early

Join us at the Abbotsford Airport this August 11-13 for a weekend of unforgettable aerial performances, static aircraft displays, delicious food, and family-friendly activities. And, of course, take the chance to witness the extraordinary feats of Melissa Burns, a true icon in the world of aviation and extreme.