Manfred Radius began flying sailplanes in 1961 at age 17 in Hamburg, Germany. He has logged more than 5,000 flights and accumulated over 2,000 hours in at least 60 types of sailplanes.
Manfred is a professional air show performer who ushered in a new era in sailplane demonstrations. He has the distinction of having introduced world championship-level sailplane performances to air shows in North America.
For many years, Manfred was the only one in North America who competed in glider aerobatic championships. In 1977, in 1979 and in 1981, he competed in the prestigious German Glider Aerobatic Championships, and in 1977, received an award as the ‘best foreign aerobatic pilot’. Canada’s leading glider aerobatic pilot, he was the only one to represent this country at the First World Championships in Glider Aerobatics, held in Austria in 1985.
Manfred has been described as ‘Sailplane Superstar’ and as ‘The King of Sailplane Aerobatics’. Spectator’s comments about his performances include superlative terms such as: awe-inspiring – fantastic – mesmerizing – outrageous – heavenly – and ‘you made the show’. USAviator wrote in it’s January, 1995 issue: He is absolutely incredible; a truly phenomenal presence in the airshow biz. Very highly recommended.
He also performs an exquisite night act nicknamed NIGHT DELIGHT.
In 2016 he was the recipient of the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, presented at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Manfred was inducted into the SUN ‘n FUN Flight Path of Fame at the SUN ‘n FUN Int’l Fly-In Expo in Lakeland, Florida in 2015.
In 1989 he was the first recipient of an Excellence in Performance Award, presented by the Corn Belt Shrine Club.
His skills go far beyond doing a simple air show performance. In 1992 he succeeded in doing the world’s first inverted ribbon cut by a sailplane over water. He did it during the Canadian International Air Show, held over Lake Ontario across downtown Toronto.
He performs from coast to coast in North America and internationally as well. Manfred thrilled large audiences when he performed his daytime and night acts at the Australian International Air Show and Aerospace Expo near Melbourne in 1995, 1997, 1999 and again in 2001.
Manfred was featured in television shows such as That’s Life, Stuntmasters, Magic in the Air, Skybound and Science of Fun.