That interest in aircraft led to Studio Ghibli productions like Porco Rosso and Castle in the Sky. It also led to a full-blown exhibit of an alternate history of flight and 19th century fictional technology to be found at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. The "Imaginary Flying Machines" section of "Castle in the Sky and Imaginary Science Fiction Machines" featured as its centrepiece a flying craft invented by Castle in the Sky's Pazu. His invention of the craft could be seen in the short film, hosted by a porcine stand-in for Miyazaki which also toured viewers through the evolution of flight in Scientific Romances.
Unfortunately for those of us in the West, this 2002 short Imaginary Flying Machines was exclusive to the Studio Ghibli Museum and has never been made available on home video. One's best chance to see it is by sheer luck while flying on Japan Air Lines. The short is sometimes shown as in-flight entertainment.
The lize-size Alcione and an animated Pazu at work on it.
A strong French influence in these aircraft, typical of Miyazaki's occidentalism.
The very early days of flight.
Echoes of Albert Robida...
... Fritz Lang...
... And Jules Verne.