Flight is the process by which an object moves through an atmosphere (or beyond it, as in the case of spaceflight) without contact with the surface. This can be achieved by generating aerodynamic lift associated with propulsive thrust, aerostatically using buoyancy, or by ballistic movement. Many things can fly, from natural aviators such as birds, bats, and insects, to human inventions like aircraft, including airplanes, helicopters, balloons, and rockets which may carry spacecraft. The engineering aspects of flight are the purview of aerospace engineering which is subdivided into aeronautics, the study of vehicles that travel through the air, and astronautics, the study of vehicles that travel through space, and in ballistics, the study of the flight of projectiles.
- Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John’s, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it.
- Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
- William Cullen Bryant, To a Water Fowl.
- Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Why takest thou its melancholy voice,
And with that boding cry
Along the waves dost thou fly?
- Richard Henry Dana, The Little Beach Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 57.
- Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.
- Lest I make the people fly off from that city like a wild dove from its tree, lest I make them fly around like a bird over its well-founded nest.
- All flight is based upon producing air pressure, all flight energy consists in overcoming air pressure.
- Otto Lilienthal, Der Vogelflug als Grundlage der Fliegekunst (1889); English edition: Birdflight As The Basis of Aviation (1911).
- Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
- This quotation was first used in print (and misattributed to Leonardo da Vinci) in a science fiction story published in 1975, The Storms of Windhaven. One of the authors, Lisa Tuttle, remembers that the quote was suggested by science fiction writer Ben Bova, who says he believes he got the quote from a TV documentary narrated by Fredric March, presumably I, Leonardo da Vinci, written by John H. Secondari for the series Saga of Western Man, which aired on 23 February 1965. Bova incorrectly assumed that he was quoting da Vinci. The probable author is John Hermes Secondari (1919-1975), American author and television producer.
- Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sand-piper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry,
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sand-piper and I.
- Celia Thaxter, The Sand-Piper, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 690.
- For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man.
- The person who merely watches the flight of a bird gathers the impression that the bird has nothing to think of but the flapping of its wings. As a matter of fact this is a very small part of its mental labor. To even mention all the things the bird must constantly keep in mind in order to fly securely through the air would take a considerable part of the evening. If I take this piece of paper, and after placing it parallel with the ground, quickly let it fall, it will not settle steadily down as a staid, sensible piece of paper ought to do, but it insists on contravening every recognized rule of decorum, turning over and darting hither and thither in the most erratic manner, much after the style of an untrained horse. Yet this is the style of steed that men must learn to manage before flying can become an everyday sport. The bird has learned this art of equilibrium, and learned it so thoroughly that its skill is not apparent to our sight. We only learn to appreciate it when we try to imitate it.
- Wilbur Wright, speech to the Western Society of Engineers (18 September 1901); published in the Journal of the Western Society of Engineers (December 1901); republished with revisions by the author for the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution (1902)
Flight travel guide from Wikivoyage
- 'Birds in Flight and Aeroplanes' by Evolutionary Biologist and trained Engineer John Maynard-Smith Freeview video provided by the Vega Science Trust.