Nausicaa's Mehve (hinges added)

This is one I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.

I’m following the shape published by Miyazaki and his people, but I’m not sure I’m pleased. I’ve been looking at actual seagull wings, and the anime suggests a really nice shape.

The wings fold up. The other line and gap after the outer airleron is where a vertical vane goes.

I want to nail this one on the head. Without deviating too much from the Miyazaki design, I want to make this something that could actually glide (or at least look real enough to do so).

Anyone know something about aerodynamic design? Aviators? RV flyers? Know-it-alls? All suggestions entertained. (But remember, this is a light glider with an air jet in the center.)

cool chunks! i have no idea of aerodynamic design, but they have some blueprints at ‘’ ( i think that’s the place. )

I think its a very good shape. However the tail needs some improvement.

Thanks. I wasn’t satisfied, but I think I am now. New question.

Many models of the glider have a fairly pronounced bend in the wing, which seems to me would make it a less stable aircraft (but as we’re dealing in fantasy anyway…) I can’t decide which I like better…

If Suu999 is watching maybe I can get some input. (If you want this model when it’s done I’ll give you a copy.)

Miyazaki flat wing (perspective)

Popular bent wing (perspective)

Miyazaki flat wing (orthogonal)

Popular bent wing (orthogonal)

And your regularly scheduled programming:

Well? Bent or straight? What say ye?

Popular bent wing.

Agreed. Bent-wing. Looks more organic.

Keep a-goin’!


Yay! Bent wing it is.

Of course this is going to make it harder to fold those wings…

I am going to take a chance on sounding like a total imbecile here, but do they fold up or down? Folding up would just mean the tips sticking up a smidgen…

Or are you worried more about aesthetics?


only slightly bent wing I say, or make it true to the original, I have always been infatuated with this glider, and have tried to model it several times myself, If I am ever rich, I am going to fund a team that will build it for me.

Have you seen Project Open Sky?

There have been lengthy discussions on Nausicaa boards as to the viability of a real-live Mehve. It is a perfectly sound glider. The problem is mounting a person on top of it. This places the center of gravity above the center of lift and makes the aircraft unstable. No human can pilot that without a computer’s aid.

I’m not partial to “flat” or bent-wing yet. I may still go either way depending on how it works mechanically… Remember, in both the manga and the movie it did things that simply are unreal. So a little aesthetic liberty is OK. (I’ve thought a lot about this too…)

The wings bend up and over 180 degrees. I’m not sure yet how those airlerons are articulated, but I suppose I’ll just put some simple hose or something between the joints (visible only when folded, mind you).

OK. :smiley: This one was tricky because I had to design with a working armature in mind… usually I wait until after modelling to rig. Anyway, the bent wing version, with the wings completely folded:

This worked out better than I thought it would. (Again, I originally had the flat-wing model in mind for folding when I designed this thing…)

I’ll update again when I’ve finished modelling and it’s time to texture it.

Duoas -

The engineer in me kind of gets twitchy when I see asymmetry (the image of the wings folded, one on top of the other)… but that “problem” is going to be there whether the wings are folded or flat, isn’t it?

There is precedent for aircraft that do not want to fly stably… look at the F117-A. Computer aided or computer controlled is not necessarily a show-stopper. Of course then your mass budget starts to go right down the toilet. :smiley:


I like it, and the real glider is cool, with today’s nano computers, it’s a viable glider design. thing, you could fit a 1ghz pc in a soup can, so there is plenty of room for it, plus the small compartment that’s in it. I like the idea for tubing too. I can’t wait for a few animations!

not sure what anime this glider originated from, though i know the name miyazaki…

at any rate, most gliders will have extremely large aspect ratios on the wings, as they desperately need maximum lift for their size to really be effective. think:

these wings seem a bit too squat for a glider, though i think you did mention something about a turbine of some sort in it… is it powered, or a glider?

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Miyazaki’s first work, produced before studio Ghibli was formed. Click for more info.

Here is a mehve model kit.

Some imagery from

It is a glider. But it is also powered. Gliders can be powered.

A common problem in both the manga and especially the movie is that the dimentions of the thing change to fit the scene.

Nausicaa generally operates it at a fairly high speed, though there are a few scenes (such as in that first animated GIF) where it seems to have a feather-like feel. That’s fantasy no matter how thin I make those wings.

I will see if I can make them a bit thinner though…

OK, the hinges took me a while to figure out how to rig. Here’s a simple mechanical solution which both puts the hinges inside the wings and controls the angle of the folding part.

DivX 222K

What think ye?

I’ve revisited the manga and the mehve there is different in a number of key aspects to that used in the anime, which is what I’ve modelled here. When I’m done this one, I think I’ll do the manga version too…

Duoas -

There appears to be a widening of the seam between the two wing sections up near the leading edge - is this an artifact from viewing angle and edge beveling or is it a slight mismatch of corresponding vertices?

The animation is good and doesn’t offer any obvious interferences.

But… I would consider that the location of the twin armatures and the location of the single armature should be transposed. It makes sense that the twin struts are the support structure (balance of forces, broad support base) and the center one is the driving linkage to fold/unfold the wing, so the best leverage would be in the swapped position, and keeping the support struts lower allows the moment about the hinge to utilize the surface area between the wing segments to help stiffen the assembly. Here I am assuming that this is the entire wing section/craft upside down - correct?

Apologies if there is a fundamental flaw in my logic… If there is a more appropriate analysis, say on…

Overall, I think this is pretty cool.


Hmm, yes, I see that. I’ll have to check to see where that came from. (And yes, it’s upside-down.)

I considered applying the hinges as you suggest, but it just wouldn’t work due to the curvature of the wing. The two larger hings are attached to the same forces, the smaller hinge is separate, but both are specific forces applied to control the angle of the outer wing.

Since there is no place in the anime where the hinge mechanism is described (even in a passing screen-shot), I’ve had to come up with this on my own.

So if it works OK with all you fans out there then this is how it’ll work…

With a proper linkage, with kinematic constraints I still think you could do it. It certainly looks like you were on the right track. If you played your linkages right you could probably pivot a wing using linkages that passed through a nautilus shell. :stuck_out_tongue:

It would be beneficial to see that linkage from the front with the wing envelope overlaid.

Really though, if you don’t wanna go there, that is cool too. It in no way detracts from a pretty cool model. Don’t you worry (sigh) about me and my unimportant (sigh) opinion… (SIGH) :smiley: Start eschewing and get reckless, man! :smiley: Okay… shutting up now…

My earlier thoughts were trying to look at it too clinically and mechanically rather than keep the model in context.

Anxiously awaiting the next installment.


PS - If you are not yet a Neal Stephenson fan, he did a pretty good book exploring nanotech - combine that with some of these new microturbine engines (saw one on Modern Marvels - 1,000,000 rpm - yes, you heard that right) well, now you have some interesting possibities for mini and micro-UAV’s. Perhaps even human-rideable AV’s…