As reported on Kotaku, there is a man in Japan whose greatest ambition is to recreate the personal glider from Hayao Miyazaki’s famous film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. For almost a decade, Kazuhiko Hachiya has been working on a real-world single seat glider just like in Nausicaä.
If you are unfamiliar with the film, you can see what the glider looks like in this trailer (first appears around the 23 second mark):
Hachiya, a toy maker and media arts designer, is in the business of making the fantastical reality. This ambitious project, known as Open Sky, has been prototyped and tested throughout the years, to varying results. The latest iteration is a a jet engine-powered one-person glider. The glider project will be exhibited this summer at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo, featuring a documentary on the Open Sky project and a taped demo of the jet engine powered build.
Nausicaä was my first Miyazaki film as a child, so it holds a special place in my heart. This film re-creation is like an homage to my childhood! If you want to see Hachiya’s work in action, I’ve included a short documentary/demo clip below: