Radius started flying sailplanes in 1961 at the age of 17 in Hamburg, Germany. He immigrated to Canada in 1969 and became a glider instructor pilot in 1972. He added the glider aerobatic instructor endorsement in 1977.
For many years, Radius was the only glider aerobatic competitor in North America. He competed in the German Glider Aerobatic Championships in 1977, 1979, and 1981 and, in 1985, he represented Canada in the first World Championship of Glider Aerobatics in Austria.
Radius began flying his sailplane aerobatics at airshows in 1986, and has since performed in airshows all over North America and as far away as Australia.
Flying a H101 Salto sailplane, his graceful, silent aerobatics are accompanied by a classical music soundtrack and wingtip smoke. Radius is well-known for his unique sailplane inverted ribbon cut.
In addition to his daytime performances, Radius is also well known for his night show. With pyrotechnics on each wingtip, he creates a nighttime ballet in the sky. He has been performing his “Night Delight” since 1990.
Radius has logged more than 5,500 flights and accumulated more than 2,300 hours in more than 60 types of sailplanes. In 1974 he achieved an altitude of 35,000 feet over the Rocky Mountains, and in 1986, he flew for 8 hours and 45 minutes, covering a distance of 340 miles over the Appalachian Mountains.
He is also an experienced skydiver, having logged more than 1,100 jumps over more than 30 years.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship began in 1986, and is awarded to airshow performers or teams that have demonstrated great skill and showmanship. World Airshow News magazine and the friends and family of the late Bill Barber present the award annually.
The Bill Barber Award for Showmanship will be presented on July 26 during EAA AirVenture at EAA’s Theater in the Woods.