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Wed, 7 Aug ’13

Major Props: Bringing Nausicaä’s Möwe Glider to Life

These fans helped Studio Ghibli take flight!

How many times have you been watching an anime and thought to yourself, “Sweet buttery shinigami! That would be so cool in real life”? If you’re anything like us, then you’ve probably lost count. If you’re anything like the men and women of the OpenSky Project, then you stopped thinking about it and started doing it. Lead by Kazuhiko Hachiya, the engineers and artists behind the project have created a working version of the Möwe Glider from Hayao Miyazaki’s seminal film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

This wasn’t the OpenSky Project’s first attempt at making a Möwe glider. The first model, the Möwe 1/2, was a simple, small-scale unmanned aircraft, which gave way to the M-01 which added a longer wingspan in order to achieve flight. Following these early efforts, two M-02 gliders were constructed – the first of which achieved successful flight in 2006 after being “tow-launched.” The current version, the M-02J, is equipped with a jet engine and as such needs no assistance in order to achieve flight. Your move, Wright Brothers.

Those of you hoping to purchase a Möwe of your very own are going to be disappointed; Hachiya has confirmed that this is a personal project and they’re not intending to mass produce the gliders. If you’d still like to see it – and why wouldn’t you – it will be on display along side the previous versions at the Main Gallery of Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo until September 16th. We’re blown away by the OpenSky Project’s ingenuity and tenacity, but we just hope that no one takes it upon themself to make real life versions of the Ohmu.