A decade after the OpenSky project began, Kazuhiko Hachiya and his team of engineers and artists can finally give themselves a well deserved pat on the back. Their dream of creating a working version of the glider seen in Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (named Möwe) has come to fruition.

On 31 July, Hachiya uploaded the video titled “OpenSky3.0 trailer,” which shows the jet engine equipped M-02J taxi and take to the sky by its own power.

This is the fourth version of the Möwe glider that has been built. The first was Möwe 1/2 which was simply a small-scale unmanned test craft. This led to the creation of the M-01 which had a longer wing span that would be necessary to achieve flight. Then two M-02 gliders were made. One successfully glided for the first time in 2006 after being tow-launched. The other was fitted with a jet engine and called the M-02J (the aircraft seen above).

The reason that the M-02J was flying rather low during the video was to keep in accordance with aviation laws rather than any technical limitations of the machine. However, before everyone starts throwing money at Hachiya, please note that this was just a personal project and there appears to be no intention of mass-producing and selling Möwes.

You can, however, check out his exhibition currently being held until 16 September in the Main Gallery of Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo. In addition to seeing the M-02 and M-02J, there are also simulators of each that you can climb aboard and feel like you are flying. There’s a lot more going on as well with talks, workshops, and other special events over the course of the exhibition.

It was a heck of a ride to make one heck of a ride, so we at RocketNews24 would like to congratulate the OpenSky Project on a job well done and look forward to seeing what Kazuhiko Hachiya comes up with next.

Source: PetWorks via Kotaro 269 (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube – Kazuhiko Hachiya
Open Sky Exhibition: Official Site (Japanese)

Möwe 1/2


The M-02 in non-powered flight