Please help us bring OpenSky M-02J (a.k.a. Mehve) to the US and let it show at EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH, and make it fly over the US sky!
Hello, I'm Kazuhiko Hachiya. I'm working as an associate professor at Tokyo University of the Arts and also releasing various works as a media artist. For the last 16 years, I have been working on the OpenSky Project, creating and flying a small single-seater jet-powered airplane called M-02J. The motif of it is "Mehve" that many people want to ride like Nausicaa in Japanese comic/animated film "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind."
Our Airplane, M-02J
The OpenSky Project requires to create an airplane what people could actually ride and fly, so from the beginning, I asked a professional to work with. Our airplane has been designing and manufacturing by professional plane production company Aircraft OLYMPOS, year by year, step by step, and the first flight in 2013, then in 2016 a flight in a circuit traffic pattern has been achieved. At first, it was thought that "it's impossible," but we improved the airplane's impeccable creation by step-by-step process and repeated the test flight while helping many people, and reached this by 2017.
From 2013 to 2018, we conducted some test flights in Japan, and now, we are enthusiastic that we will achieve our much-awaited and the last mission of this project "exhibit and fly our airplane"M-02J" in the US sky." At this year's opportunity, we are going to:
1) participate in the home of aviation EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH in the US,
2) set after-talk session in LA,
3) exhibit at Chino Airport, and
4) run a test flight at Corona Airport.
In addition to these, so that we could carry out the plans in California, we need an extra budget for airplane transportation, and the venue will be searched and decided from now on.
"Show M-02J the people in the US" is this project's ultimate goal. I want to make this happen, make it real. Please help our grand project!
What is EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH?
First of all, please take a look at this video.
Isn't it amazing?
I went to the Oshkosh Air Show for the first time as a preliminary inspection in 2017. So, wow, I was overwhelmed by the scale (the venue is enormous, events every day for a week, etc.), types and quantities of aircraft, and the passion and spirit of the people participating in this event. Unlike the ordinary air shows (trade shows style of ones) , the Oshkosh Air Show is based on "civil aviation aircraft." It is the world's largest air show that is still profoundly ingrained the early era of civil aviation aircraft culture which is "make your own and fly," and it is the sacred place where aircraft lovers all over the United States gather!
And, The Oshkosh Air Show will have 600,000 visitors and 10,000 aircraft during the seven days. This air show is not only for plane enthusiasts but also for a wide range of people from aviation workers to researchers, ordinary people, and families. So, I think to show M-02J in the Oshkosh Air Show is an enormous opportunity to show "the actual flying plane created by the artist.”
The Artist Creates An Airplane
The animation movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" was released in Japan in 1984; 35 years ago for now.
At that time, I was a high school student, and of course, I went to the theater! I remember I was very moved and brought back the impression home. Well, I did not think that I could make a plane similar to the Mehve 30 years after that …
The anime movie director Hayao Miyazaki has been drafted the Mehve as a "non-flying airplane." Since that, a decade later, I became an artist using technology and started to create works using micro-jet engines. At the beginning of 2000, I thought about if the power output of the jet engine continues to be improved, it would be possible to fly a small, single-seater small airplane by about 2010. "Could I really make Mehve seen in a movie when I was a high school student?" After being obsessed with the delusion, I began to make an airplane as an artwork “to make the impossible possible.”
I made some models in 2003, made a glider with professionals to make sure that an ordinary human can drive, trained on an ultralight plane, and made a successful maiden flight in 2013. In 2016, I made traffic flight at an altitude of 300 feet.
It took a long time and a lot of money than I expected for the beginning, but "the closest to Mehve among the airplanes that exist in the world" could be realized. I made it so much that I want to show everyone in the US that our aircraft is flying!
OpenSky US Tour Schedule
Here is the current planning schedule:
July 22 to 28: Exhibit actual airplane and explain the project at "Homebuilder's Hangar" in EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH. We are currently working toward to hold whether the demo flight is possible.
Late July to early August: Test flight at Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin. (It will be a closed test. We will let only backers know the dates and times.)
After EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH, I would like to ship the airplane to California by land, then I would like to hold lectures, fan meetings, the exhibition of the airplane, and demo flights.
August 9,10: in Los Angeles, presentation lecture of the project and EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH.
The Japan Foundation LA AUGUST 10 Program Starts 14:00
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100, LA, CA 90036
August 15 to 18: Display of the airplane and introduction lecture of the project on the hangar of Chino Airport. (Because it is the private area in the airport, its admission may be by backers or invitation only.)
(Exhibition at Aoyama, Tokyo, 2018.)
(Hope we could have this kind of big hangar party...!)
Late August: Limited presentation of several flyings at Corona Municipal Airport. (It will be informed the schedule and time with priority to only backers preferentially. It is still undecided whether the public release will.)
Collaborators and supporters
EAA: Experimental Aircraft Association // Providing exhibit locations at EAA AirVenture OSHKOSH, advice on flights in the US.
Walter Bauer, Lee Fischer (individuals) // Advice on flight locations in Wisconsin and assistance with exhibits at the EAA.
KAA Corporation // Advice about the venue at CHINO.
Sky Creation, Inc.(Flight School) // Advice on flight locations near LA.
This OpenSky Project is basically operated "without sponsor" policy. Because "flying with a newly designed airplane" is very risky, if we rely on sponsor money, we can be interrupted the project by the pressure to succeed by the deadline and it can lead to an accident.
As you are aware, it needs a huge amount of money to bring an airplane from Japan to the US and fly it...So, I am running around to raise funds and applying for a grant, but still don't have prospects for funding.
Therefore, we would like to ask you to help our project. We just have started Indiegogo to be shared your power. Please inform your friends and colleagues!
I have developed an action plan to put the US tour into practice last year. And at the beginning of the year, I calculated the approximate budget. The estimated total cost of the project is approximately 9 million yen (about $82K).
The significant portion of the cost is a transportation fee of the aircraft (round trip to Japan and domestic transportation in the US), travel expenses, and accommodation expenses.
The funds collected by INDIEGOGO are to be used for transportation of the airplane to California, travel and accommodation of the staff in California, costs for lectures and exhibitions in LA and Chino, flight test-related expenses, video and photo production costs, etc. I want to share this project with many people in Japan and the US and make it a rewarding one for each of you...!
OpenSky US Tour Approximate Budget
Transportation Fee: from Wisconsin to California $10,350
Transportation Fee: from Chino Airport to Corona Airport $1,200
Air Travel Expenses of The Staff x2: from ATW to LAX $520
Accommodation of The Staff (25 days of 8/6 to 8/31) $4,500
Lecture-Related Expenses in LA (inc. preparation) $800
Exhibition-Related Expenses in Chino (inc. preparation) $1,000
Fuel and Insurance Fee of The Airplane $900
Renting Hangars $2,960
Video Production Fee $1,500
Photo Shooting Fee $1,000
Kickstarter's Reward Handling Cost $1,000
Total 25,730 USD
Kazuhiko Hachiya, a person in charge of the project, will be responsible for the contents and the project, but updating and communication with YOU will be mainly conducted by Gamme Takiguchi, the collaborator of the project.
Gamme Takiguchi (firstname.lastname@example.org), the collaborator of the project.
It's me in 2006! At that time, the airplane didn't have an engine, so we had to pull it with strong rubber rope to make it float in the air. Still, I remember the excitement when the airplane I pulled was flying in the sky, with Mt. Fuji in the clear sky. Again, fly M-02J, this time in the US sky!!!
OpenSky Chronicle 2003--2016.
Risks & Challenges
Currently, our airplane is in transit by ship. We are considering that there is a risk of delays in customs clearance in the US customs inspection, etc., but it is assumed that the possibility of not being in time for the exhibition is low because there is enough transportation schedule to offset the risk. Also, there is a possibility that an accident or damage may occur during container (M-02J is in it) transportation, but we think that it is unlikely to happen.
About flight testing, our airplane belongs to the Ultralight category in the US Aviation Act, that means in principle it can be flown in the US sky as a "Federal Aviation Regulation Part 103-Ultralight Vehicles" without FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) permission. To make it sure, we are asking the FAA about it while getting the cooperation of EAA.
In any case, flight tests should only be performed in a safe environment and suitable weather, with utmost care to avoid accidents.
Reference: OpenSky US Tour PR Photo
Please use these photos to share on your article, blog, private use, etc.
Reference: OpenSky Document (in English)
M-02J Spec. http://www.petworks.co.jp/opensky/
Reference: Web Article (in English)
Popular Science http://pops.ci/SJDX31
YouTube 15 COOL VEHICLES AND PERSONAL TRANSPORT MACHINES