Flight is the process by which an object moves, through an atmosphere (especially the air) or beyond it (as in the case of spaceflight), by generating aerodynamic lift, propulsive thrust, aerostatically using buoyancy, or by ballistic movement, without direct support from any surface.
Many things fly, from natural aviators such as birds, bats and insects to human inventions such as missiles, aircraft such as airplanes, helicopters and balloons, to rockets such as spacecraft.
The engineering aspects of flight are studied in 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.
Famous quotes containing the word flight:
“Here I am.... You get the parts of me you like and also the parts that make you uncomfortable. You have to understand that other peoples comfort is no longer my job. I am no longer a flight attendant.”
—Patricia Ireland (b. 1935)
“In all her products, Nature only develops her simplest germs. One would say that it was no great stretch of invention to create birds. The hawk which now takes his flight over the top of the wood was at first, perchance, only a leaf which fluttered in its aisles. From rustling leaves she came in the course of ages to the loftier flight and clear carol of the bird.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“What a cunning mixture of sentiment, pity, tenderness, irony surrounds adolescence, what knowing watchfulness! Young birds on their first flight are hardly so hovered around.”
—Georges Bernanos (18881948)