Facts and stats about the raceplane types currently flying in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship

Edge 540

Designed to be as agile in the air as possible and streamlined to perfection, the raceplanes flown in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship are at the forefront of light aviation technology.

Constructed to be as light as possible to ensure maximum speed, they also have to be extremely robust, and tolerate stressed of up to 10 times the force of gravity (10Gs).

These propeller-driven machines are highly manoeuvrable, pulling up into a vertical orientation at high speed with very little effort – something that even modern fighter jets can't match.

In previous years, the race teams were allowed to modify their aircraft, but for 2014, the engines and propellers have been standardised for all teams. The Lycoming Thunderbolt AEIO-540-EXP engine and the Hartzell 3-bladed 7690 structural composite propeller have both undergone rigorous testing and have performed to specification. Both the pilots and their teams have instead dedicated their efforts to perfecting airframe aerodynamics, as well as pilot skill and ability.


The Edge 540, manufactured by Zivko Aeronautics, is as precise and controllable as it is aggressive. The small, one-seater aircraft is a favourite amongst Red Bull Air Race pilots, largely due to its fuselage.

The computer optimised, steel tube frame makes the Edge 540 an extremely light, very durable and easily repairable raceplane.

Using an unconventional straight-edged wing, the Edge 540 sparked much interest in flying circles around the world, particularly after Kirby Chambliss began using it for aerobatic competitions. The aircraft has since evolved into the highly refined and technologically advanced version of the original prototype, with the radical wing now acknowledged as a pioneering feat of design.

Edge 540

LENGTH: 6.3m


ROLL RATE: 420°/sec

CLIMB RATE: 3,700ft/min

TOP SPEED: 425.97kph (230kts)

MAX G: +/-12G

WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon fibre

V2 PILOTS: Goulian, Ivanoff, Le Vot, Velarde and Podlunsek

V3 PILOTS: Arch, Chambliss, Dolderer, Kopfstein, McLeod, Muroya and Sonka 

Since the beginning of the 2014 season, a number of the pilots upgraded to the race-bespoke Edge V3. The V3 is different from the 540 in various ways:

It has an increased tolerance of G-loads. The body has been finely tuned to increase aerodynamics and reduce drag. Modifications range from a sleeker canopy design and improved exhaust, wing root and rear wheel fairings to enhanced winglets, shorter landing gear legs and upgraded cowlings


The MXS-R represents the latest in state-of-the-art design and technology. The 'Edge beater', as it's been named due to being a worthy match for the Edge 540, was designed using advanced computer solid modelling with an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency. As a result, it has already gained much respect in the racing arena and is considered a work of art among pilots due to its graceful, flowing lines. What makes the MXS-R a stand-alone aircraft is that it is constructed entirely of aerospace-grade carbon fibre, which gives it superior strength and durability unlike any other.

LENGTH: 6.51m


ROLL RATE: 420°/sec

CLIMB RATE: 3,500ft/min

TOP SPEED: 425.97kph (230kts)

MAX G: +/-12G

WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon fibre

PILOTS: Hall and Lamb

Extra 330LX

The Extra 330LX is a two-seat, low-wing monoplane that offers exceptional aerobatic performance. Despite only being manufactured in 2013, the aircraft has already been certified for Unlimited Aerobatics and is used by all pilots competing in the Challenger Cup. The airframe is predominantly made of carbon fibre and has a steerable, lightweight tailwheel. It also uses a steel fuselage for added strength and durability. All in all, the Extra 330LX is a lightweight and robust aircraft that is ideal for new pilots to the Red Bull Air Race.

LENGTH: 7.2m


ROLL RATE: 400°/sec

CLIMB RATE: 3,200ft/min

TOP SPEED: 405kph (219kts)

MAX G: +/-10

WING DESIGN: Symmetric, carbon fibre

PILOTS: All Challenger Class pilots