Manfred Radius began his career in flying sailplanes in 1961 at age 17 in Hamburg, Germany. He has logged in excess of 4,000 flights and accumulated over 1,800 hours in at least 60 types of sailplanes. Manfred immigrated to Canada in 1969 and became a gliding instructor in 1972, adding the glider aerobatic instructor's endorsement in 1977. He is a former member of the Flight Training and Safety Committee of the Soaring Association of Canada. In 1974 he reached a high point in his career when he achieved an altitude of 35,000 feet above sea level over the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs.Flying the same sailplane in which he performs at air shows, Manfred flew a distance of 600 km (375 miles) over the Appalachian Mountains in May of 1986, a flight lasting 8 hours and 45 minutes. For many years, Radius was the only one on this continent who competed in glider aerobatic championships. In 1977, in 1979 and in 1981, he competed in the prestigeous German Glider Aerobatic Championships, and in 1977, received an award as the 'best foreign aerobatic pilot'. In 1985 he competed in the First World Championship in Glider Aerobatics, held in Austria, representing Canada as its leading glider aerobatic pilot. Manfred Radius is a top professional air show performer who ushered in a new era in sailplane demonstrations. He has the distinction of having introduced world championship-level performances to air shows on this continent. Manfred's award-winning main act 'The Ultimate' contains samples of all aerobatic maneuver families, including unique maneuvers performed only by himself with a glider at air shows in North America. The grand finale of 'The Ultimate' is the spectacular inverted ribbon cut. Performed by a sailplane without the benefit of engine power, this difficult stunt leaves the audience in awe and amazement.
In addition to his daytime demonstrations, Manfred also performs at night with his sailplane. His spectacular night act has been enjoyed by millions on this continent and in Australia. His extensive background in glider aerobatics and competing in world-class aerobatic championships enables him to demonstrate the capabilities of his fully aerobatic glider to the fullest. As a result of his hard work at air shows and his never ending quest for excellence, Manfred has earned the reputation of being one of the top performers on this continent. In 1989 he was the first recipient of an Excellence in Performance award, presented by the Corn Belt Shrine Club. Manfred Radius 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. In his bestseller The Cannibal Queen, Stephen Coonts writes: ......and we were treated to the most spectacular flying exhibition I have ever witnessed......The silent crowd watched, mesmerized...... His mastery of his craft was total, his exhibition a tour de force. His skills go far beyond doing a simple air show performance. On Sept.6,1992, 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. Manfred was featured on television shows such as That's Life, Stuntmasters, Magic in the Air, Skybound and Science of Fun. He performs from coast to coast on this continent 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. He joined the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in 1978. An experienced skydiver, he logged over 1,000 jumps in more than 25 years in the sport.Last modified on
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