Life-Size Jet-Powered Nausicaä Glider Soars Over Wisconsin

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The life-size Möwe (Mehve in English) jet-assisted glider from Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind has been in the works over a decade. The craft took flight to the amazement of Wisconsin natives and aviation enthusiasts on Wednesday. The glider's pilot, Tokyo University of the Arts associate professor Kazuhiko Hachiya, brought his glider to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 event to discuss its 16 year history followed by an amazing flight.

The glider started as the "OpenSky" project dating back over 10 years. Hachiya flew his jet-engined powered M-02J model in Hokkaido in 2014 and 2016. A previous model was shown at Nippon2007, Asia's first WorldCon science-fiction convention. The flight in Oshkosh marks the first time the glider has flown in the United States.

Hachiya is raising funds on IndieGoGo to continue touring the aircraft. After EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, the Mehve glider will head to the Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin for a closed test flight in late July or early August. Hachiya will reveal the date and time of the test flight exclusively to crowdfund backers. He then hopes to ship the glider to Los Angeles to host lectures, fan meetings, and demo flights.

The aircraft is scheduled to appear at the Jungle Collector's Shop in L.A. on August 9 and the The Japan Foundation LA on August 10. The plane will then go on display at the Chino Airport from August 15-18. Finally, the plane will go to the Corona Municipal Airport in California in late August for presentations and flight tests.

The Mehve 2016 model weighed in at 100 kilograms (220.5lbs) with wings outstretched to 9.6 meters (31.5ft). Its wings' frames were made of wood. Hachiya built that glider with the support of engineers at an aircraft manufacturing company.

Update: Hachiya informed Anime News Network that due to lack of funding, the aircraft will not be appearing Los Angeles but will instead go directly to the Chino Airport.

Thanks to Isaac and Kim for the news tip.

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