SAPPORO – A glider modeled after a flying machine seen in a popular animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki has conducted a successful test flight before the public in Takikawa, Hokkaido.
The Mehve flying machine, upon which the glider is based, appears in the film “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.” In the film, the main character takes to the skies in the aircraft.
The glider in Hokkaido, known as the M-02J, flew at Takikawa Sky Park on Sunday. With a 9.63-meter wingspan and a fuselage measuring 2.67 meters, the pilot lies prone and steers the aircraft by shifting his or her weight in the desired direction.
“I wanted to create an aircraft that’s fun and gives us hope,” said pilot and artist Kazuhiko Hachiya, 50. “I hope some day director Miyazaki will look at it.”
Hachiya, who has been conducting test flights on the M-02J since 2014, said he hopes to make improvements achieving better stabilization.
The aircraft uses a small jet engine to take off and achieve the necessary altitude for gliding.