%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1307801740010220100
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[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.02561/ Translation from French: The utopias of Air Navigation in the last century]]]]
%% Note from translator: if you're fluent in French and English, please improve the above translation.

->''"It's a Falling Machine. I'm so '''impressed'''."''
-->-- '''Agatha Clay''', ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''

Once upon a time {{fl|ight}}ying was not the relatively mundane commute that it is today, but an adventure into an unexplored realm, a victory over gravity that was long thought to be impossible. Flying machines were not the shiny, high-technology {{Cool Plane}}s we regularly see in the sky nowadays, but fabulous contraptions cobbled together by {{Mad Scientist}}s, sporting lots of spinny bits, belching smoke and fire, risky and ''magnificent''.

This trope is for all flying machines that reflect this aesthetic, and this romantic way of looking at human {{flight}}. It is most usually found in SteamPunk and RaygunGothic works, but may also have a place in {{Fantasy}} and even HistoricalFiction.

In more fantasy-oriented works, SkyPirates may make use of their magnificent flying machines to plough [[TheSkyIsAnOcean the ocean of air]] in their search for prey. {{Floating Continent}}s and a WorldInTheSky may or may not be involved. Please don't try to take this trope ''too'' far into the realm of fantasy, though. Letting flight be entirely explained by ''magic'', for example, would not have the same feel or meaning for the story. A flying ship kept airborne by a wizard's spell would ''not'' count as an example of this trope (though a flying ship that [[MagiTek uses magic to drive a hundred tiny propellers]] very well might).

Generally, a magnificent flying machine will have one or several of the following features:

* It will be powered by [[SteamPunk steam]]. Or bicycle pedals. Or simply the RuleOfCool.
* It may have an inordinate number of wings. Which may [[HandWave flap]]. And may be far too small [[WingsDoNothing to be what's really keeping it aloft]].
* It may also have ''lots'' of propellers. Which may be corkscrew-shaped.
* It will be a clear example of BambooTechnology. Or, sometimes, MagiTek.
* It will have an open, fragile-looking frame, possibly with thin canvas wings and lots of machinery visible inside. Or its hull may be incredibly heavy-looking, totally un-aerodynamic, and studded with rivets.
* It will have lots of spinning cogs and gears and other shiny moving parts.
* Its designers probably [[ArtisticLicenseEngineering Failed Engineering Forever]].
* And yet, against all odds... it will still '''fly.'''

Large examples may be {{Cool Airship}}s -- though Cool Airships don't ''always'' follow this aesthetic, and magnificent flying machines don't have to be large (or lighter-than-air). Or ''cool'', necessarily. While usually these craft will be treated as impressive feats of engineering -- as the title implies -- in some settings a primitive-looking flying machine will be PlayedForLaughs (perhaps as an aeronautical version of TheAllegedCar). Actual use of the term "''flying machine''" usually suggests humour.

[[TruthInTelevision Actual]] aircraft in the early days of aviation, as well as many early unsuccessful attempts to build flying machines, may well fit here. Creator/LeonardoDaVinci deserves special mention for dreaming up many fanciful aircraft in the early 16th century (several examples below were inspired by his work). The trope likely stopped applying to RealLife sometime between UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, as airplanes gradually evolved towards their modern form, and as [[UsefulNotes/{{Airships}} large rigid airships]] passed their heyday and fell into disuse.

See also: UsefulNotes on [[UsefulNotes/{{Airships}} airships.]]



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Creator/HayaoMiyazaki's entire filmography: scenic flying sequences are a signature element, and he grew up around old airplanes in the factory operated by his father and uncle.
** ''Anime/SherlockHound'' has many examples, the biggest of which being Episode Five: 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle' where Moriarty uses a pink, Pterodactyl-shaped biplane as a distraction for a jewel heist and Episode Ten: 'The White Cliffs of Dover' concerning a rash of sabotages with the Royal Mail's air service to Europe and sees the return of the aforementioned Pterodactyl.
** ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'' adds a classic autogyro as a ChekhovsGun.
** ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' has fanciful gliders and balloons.
** ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'' might as well be considered flying machine porn.
** ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService'' has a pedal powered experimental plane and extensive broomstick flight scenes. There's also the H. P. 42 biplane airliner in the opening credits.
** ''Anime/PorcoRosso'' is a love letter to early aviation, using some of the most fanciful designs from real aviation to ever actually work.
** The steam-powered, wing-flapping aircraft of ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'' are beautiful examples, including both giant warplanes and small [[FlyingCar commuter craft]]. Eventually, the castle itself becomes an example.
** ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'', and ''Anime/SpiritedAway'' are exceptions, but tend to feature flying scenes anyway, via high-jumping, running on cliffs, dragon-riding, or treetop cat-bus rides.
** ''Anime/TheWindRises'' goes even further and is a honest-to-God (if a bit fictionalized) biography of a real life Japanese aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi, a one time chief designer of Mitsubishi Aircraft, of which the Miyazaki brothers' factory was a subcontractor.
* In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', this is Ed's reaction to seeing the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI WWI]] planes of our world.
* ''Manga/TheDaughterOfTwentyFaces'' has a double-balloon airship that is definitely strange, SteamPunk, and propeller-laden enough to count.
* Most of the flying machines seen in the first episode of ''Anime/NadiaTheSecretOfBlueWater''.
* In ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'', there are ships with wings. How they fly? [[AWizardDidIt Wizards did it.]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Literally]].
* Eneru's [[CoolShip Ark Maxim]] in ''Manga/OnePiece''. It's a huge boat with wings and lots of propellers. The primary power source is [[ShockAndAwe Eneru himself.]] The backup suspension system, should Eneru be otherwise occupied, is ''seashells''. Well, [[AppliedPhlebotinum extinct Jet Dials]], but still seashells. It's designed to take Eneru and four people of his choice to the moon. Which it does, minus the extra passengers. Oh, and it's made of gold. Like, solid gold.
* ''Anime/LastExile'' and [[Anime/LastExileFamTheSilverWing its sequel]] feature an assortment of DieselPunk aircraft in both "fighter plane" and "battleship" sizes with the overall technology level of early 20th century. They fly using anti-gravity engines powered by [[{{Phlebotinum}} a mysterious ore]], which are [[LowCultureHighTech a surviving relic of a more enlightened age]] - as in, they can be built and replicated but the exact science behind them is long forgotten.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The flying machine of Alexander [=LeRoi=] in the Franchise/{{Batman}} {{Elseworld}} comic ''Master of the Future''.
* In ''ComicBook/DeCapeEtDeCrocs'', Bombastus builds a pedal-powered flying machine with flapping wings, all thanks to BambooTechnology. Subverted in that half-way through the flight, he realizes it's not actually working - just slowing their fall.
* An episode of ''ComicBook/{{Valerian}}'', "World Without Stars", had pseudo-Renaissance blimps pulled by teams of horse-sized insects.
** The airships we see at the end could also qualify, since they're basically modified old-school balloons.
* ''ComicBook/LadyMechanika'' has the Lewis Flyer, which appears to be a steam-powered vintage car with ornithopter wings and a helicopter rotor that somehow still manages to fly.
* The vehicles in the air battle between [[Literature/FuManchu the Devil Doctor]] and [[SherlockHolmes Professor Moriarty]] in ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''.
* Starscream's alt-mode in the SteamPunk ''{{Transformers}}'' {{Elseworld}} ''Hearts of Steel'' is a batwinged fantasia of a biplane, based on designs by GadgeteerGenius Tobias Muldoon.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/OnceUponAForest'' a trio of young WoodlandCreatures take their professor's plans for a flying machine called "The Flapper Wingamathing" with them on a quest to retrieve a plant that will help their comatose friend, and are able to build a scale replica of the contraption using BambooTechnology to get the plant from a steep cliff face.
* The chicken coop-turned airplane at the end of ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun''.
* The airplane (later converted into a helicopter) in ''WesternAnimation/MadagascarEscape2Africa''.
* By ''WesternAnimation/Madagascar3EuropesMostWanted'', it has been fitted with a [[RuleOfFunny warp drive]]... but still powered by monkeys.
* Lawrence III's 'hovercraft' in ''Anime/{{Pokemon 2000}}'', which despite being composed of massive structural girders and massive expensively decorated rooms, is held aloft by slowly rotating propellers above and below the tips of the structural girders. Contrast this with its aversion in the helicopter Dr.Oak and co. arrive in, which would be pretty bog standard for Real Life.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The film ''[[Film/ThoseMagnificentMenInTheirFlyingMachines Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, Or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes]]'' (the TropeNamer, as you might guess) opens with a brief "history of flight," featuring plenty of improbable and amusing contraptions. The opening credits feature a flotilla of humorous animated examples. The racing airplanes in the movie itself are also examples, and, notably, are all fairly faithful reproductions of actual early aircraft.
** The "History of Flight" sequence was apparently a compilation that somebody had put together back in the 1920s, saving the movie's producers the job of making it themselves.
* In ''Film/TheGreatRace'' -- a [[DuelingMovies Dueling Film]] with the above -- the evil Professor Fate uses a small ''pedal-powered'' airship to try and drop a bomb onto the hero, with [[HoistByHisOwnPetard predictable results]].
* ''Film/MasterOfTheWorld'' featured the propeller-studded ''Albatross''.
* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' was an old-time race car fitted with little wings and propellers. [[spoiler:Though its flying power was AllJustADream... or was it?]]
* The film ''Film/YoungSherlockHolmes'' featured one of these.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. A Creator/LeonardoDaVinci glider comes in handy for the title character and Anna Baragli.
* ''Film/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays2004'': Fogg and co. build one of these out of pieces of their ship in order to finish their journey on time.
* The Bat from ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' deserves special mention - looking for all the world like the hollowed Tumbler body, and ''still'' it can fly.
* ''The Fabulous World of Jules Verne'' [original title ''Vynález zkázy''] (1958) is full of these - and almost every other steampunk device or vehicle you could imagine.
* Gregor's steampunk balloon-ship in ''Film/{{Waterworld}}''.

* ''The War in the Air'' by Creator/HGWells, obviously.
* The jet-propelled [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithopter ornithopters]] of the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' universe probably count, though they are an unusually high-tech example.
* In Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's AlternateHistory duology ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky'', the deficit of iron in the world has drastically slowed down the scientific progress. As such, flying is still in its infancy. All flying machines are gliders made up mostly of wood and sheets. They do have engines, which can be started with either a chemical or an electrical lighter. Also, gliders can be outfitted with one-time booster rockets that drop off after their fuel is expended. Most of the time, gliders are only used to deliver messages, as flying them is extremely dangerous, preventing them from taking on passengers. All pilots must memorize wind maps, as no instruments are present in gliders. Chinese gliders are the most advanced, and their boosters allow them to cross entire continents in one go. Due to their fragile nature, {{Old School Dogfight}}ing is impossible. In wartime, gliders may be used to drop bombs.
* ''Literature/RoburTheConqueror'', by Creator/JulesVerne, on which the film ''Master of the World'' was largely based (and not so much on the same author's book ''Master of the World''), featuring the "aeronef" ''Albatross''. It was powered by electricity and used ''lots'' of airscrews for both lift and propulsion, and was made of highly-compressed paper.
* The original ''Literature/TomSwift'' series of books had Tom designing a succession of improbable, and sometimes magnificent, flying machines, starting with his combination dirigible/winged airship, Red Cloud.
* Ornithopters are also used by the Empire of Granbretan in Creator/MichaelMoorcock's ''Literature/DorianHawkmoon'' novels. They're small, lightly armed, and not always wholly reliable, but in a world where the next best way to fly is on the back of a giant flamingo they're still an important part of the Granbretan war machine.
* {{Clockpunk}} ornithopters and helicopters (along with [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld airships]]) used to dominate the skies in ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt'', but they're rapidly being outcompeted by WWII-esque planes in more recent books.
* Show up as illustrations in the Creator/{{Disney}} children's encyclopaedia on flying machines.
* The ''Literature/MortalEngines'' series features lots of airships of all imaginable shapes and sizes (from couch-sized airships perfect for indoor flight to massive [[TheSkyIsAnOcean Air Dreadnoughts]], and lots of assorted tramp traders in-between), perfect for adventuring in a vast {{Steampunk}} and {{Dieselpunk}} world. In the early books, [[LostTechnology the secrets of heavier-than-air flight have been lost]], but later in the series we see all sorts of armed ornithopters, autogyros, and rickety biplanes competing with zeppelins in the sky. Air travel is heavily romanticized in the setting -- air traders ply the "Bird Roads," seeing the world and having lots of glamorous and dangerous adventures.
* Wendy Darling's uncle in ''Literature/PeterAndTheStarcatchers Peter and the Sword of Mercy'' has built an ornithopter that's in its early testing stages. By the second time we see it being tested, it's fully functional, even before Wendy dumps her supply of [[{{Unobtanium}} starstuff]] into the fuel tank to extend its range.
* In ''Literature/{{Updraft}}'', use of hang-glider-esque wings to fly around and between the [[SkyscraperCity towers of the city]] is routine, and Kirit is very keen to pass her tests and become an airborne trader like her mother. These wings are also used for combat, both against monsters and in duels (including TrialByCombat). There do not seem to be any larger air vehicles, however; or powered ones.
* Rosie's helio-cheese-copter in ''Rosie Revere Engineer''. Which is simply awesome.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* A ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch has an inventor wearing a flying machine that consisted of two small wings on his back, powered by a hand crank on his chest. It turns out (in a brilliant visual gag) not to work particularly well. Some of these also showed up in Terry Gillam's animated linking sequences.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'' sometimes made their "trandem" bicycle fly, albeit precariously, by attaching it to a balloon. In their own "great race" episode, Graham manages to save their lives when their car going over a cliff by having it deploy wings.
* ''Series/TheWildWildWest'' series.
* ''Series/TheSecretAdventuresOfJulesVerne'' had a few. 'Aurora' certainly qualifies. "Master of Air and Darkness"/"Southern Comfort" also introduce a flying battleship.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'' had [[ReluctantMadScientist Professor Wickwire]] working on an early airship. After [[AmusingInjuries surviving a lab explosion]], he remarks that [[HistoricalInJoke Hydrogen is difficult to work with.]] When he later produces a working airship using Helium, a HurricaneOfPuns ensue around [[Music/LedZeppelin using lead in the construction]].
* Parodied in ''Series/TheColbertReport'' with the fictional film ''The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of Filliam H. Muffman'' which served as a vehicle to make fun of the union of William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman.

* Invoked in the song cycle "[[http://ericpazdziora.com/doctor-milliners-marvellous-musical-flying-machine-premiere/ Doctor Milliner's Marvellous Musical Flying Machine,]] [[OverlyLongTitle Being a Contraption of Rhymes and Games for a Jollification of Sad Musicians]]" by modern composer Eric M. Pazdziora.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' averted and played straight. Liftwood ships do not have wings, balloons or more than one propeller. They look and to a large extent function like ships. (Though the novel “A Prince of Mars” by Frank Chadwick describes the liftwood ships as less similar to regular ships than the role-playing game.) Even the early attempts at flight that historically looked like this are unlikely to occur in Space 1889 since liftwood has allowed practical flying ships. In the core book, however, there is a list of inventions that the player characters can make including flying machines. Many of them have illustrations that looks a lot like this.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', set in the XIX century with mad science, naturally uses this aesthetic for all of its aircraft.
* The metallic Deffkopta model in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Plastic models however are more subdued, just looking like a bike modded into a helicopter. This works because it is made by Orks; they're idiots with telekinetic powers, so [[AchievementsInIgnorance if they believe something will work, it does]].
** In ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'', the Dwarfs have steam-powered "Gyrocopters", while the Dogs of War have the Birdmen of Catrazza, canvas-{{winged human|oid}}s using da Vinci-esque pedal-powered flight suits.
** And ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar'' goes big with these, adding an entire faction of dwarves riding these and living in giant, flying cities. Even the most basic of armies is mostly composed of heavily-armed airships.
* The Ornithopters ("Thopters" for short) from ''MagicTheGathering''.
* Whenever the generic ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' line tackles more or less {{Steampunk}} themes, it naturally tends to involve the odd eccentric flying contraption. For example:
** In the {{steampunk}} [[UsefulNotes/TheGloryThatWasRome Roman Empire]] that dominates the Roma Aeterna timeline in ''TabletopGame/GURPSAlternateEarths'', the only native heavier-than-air flyer is the ''jactavolans'', an incredibly dangerous melding of Roman glider and Chinese rocket technology used for scouting and courier purposes. In game terms, you have to roll Piloting checks on takeoff (to see if the rockets explode) ''and'' landing (to see if you crash). All ''jactavolans'' pilots are state-owned slaves who receive both their freedom and Roman citizenship if they survive a five-year term of service.
** The original ''GURPS Steampunk'' supplement featured a few instances, statted out for the Third Edition of the game. They were re-statted for the Fourth Edition in ''GURPS Vehicles: Steampunk Conveyances.''
* The VSF miniatures game Aeronef by Wessex Games is set in an alternate universe where powered dirigible airships, nicknamed "'digs", are invented in 1852, and a powered anti-gravity system is developed in 1884, resulting in the construction of the titular Aeronefs, often shortened to "'nefs". Later developments include the discovery of negative-gravity particles that are passively generated from "R-Matter", a substance found in meteorites, usually in rainforests or polar regions. 'Nefs and 'Digs come in a variety of types, mostly military, ranging from small Patrol 'Nef to Battleships, as well as Carriers and specialist bombers. The style of miniatures is heavily inspired by the pre-dreadnought era from the mid-1870s to around the early 1910s, combining ship-like designs with aerial features such as control surfaces and more "conventional" gas-bag dirigible airships, albeit with a bit [[More Dakka]].
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' the H'Slit tribes of Venus make sail-ships, gliders and sail-planes out of wood, bone and incredibly carved stone fittings. The largest are capable of up to a dozen Venusians. It is likely these contraptions only fly due to the immense heat rising from Venus's depths.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', engineers can craft a Flying Machine (actually called that) that fits this trope perfectly. It looks like an old plane with tiny wings and a helicopter-like propeller on the top, belches smoke, and seems to barely stay airborne. If you idle in air with it, its engine will occasionally turn off for a second or so, causing it to fall a few feet before it turns back on.
** Flying Machines originated in ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III'', with two distinct variations: one has a fairly typical-looking helicopter rotor with a pair of propellers for forward thrust. The other has a pair of propeller-turbine contraptions that can rotate to point forward or downward, a bit like an Osprey VTOL aircraft. Both are made with the finest {{steampunk}} materials, of course.
* The Vinci faction from ''VideoGame/RiseOfLegends'' are all steampunk-ish, and so are their flying machines.
** Specifically, the flying machines come from the [[SkyPirate Pirata]] city-state, and some feature equipment like grappling hooks clearly meant for boarding.
* One of Creator/LeonardoDaVinci's flying machines appeared in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', and it was propelled by giant pyres burning all over the city.
** Modified into a dive-bomber variant in ''Revelations''. The firebombs actually set fire to the ground, which means you can finally provide your own means of lift.
* The flyers in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''. Rocket-propelled Magitek-powered cloth-winged constructions designed and built by a mad [[spoiler:god]] named Kang. They really ought to shred themselves rather than actually flying.
* ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight's'' Propeller Knight commands an airship that is kept aloft by two gigantic propellers and propels itself through the sky by means of [[TheSkyIsAnOcean giant oars]].
** There's another, smaller airship docked above one of villages which, from the outside, appears to be a blimp, but you can climb up inside what should be the part where the lighter-than-air gas is contained and find a blacksmith's forge in there, calling into question what exactly is keeping the ship in the air, since no mention is made of it being magical.
* Those Babylon Rouges of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' certainly have a nice airship.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'' allows you to build your own not only as airships, but also as spaceships! That's right, you can really let your {{Steampunk}} ideas go loose in this.
* Beedle's shop in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''. A square wooden helicopter in a world that otherwise doesn't have powered flight. It's powered by pedalling and has some sort of [[SchizoTech primitive computer]].
* Several ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games (most notably VI and IX) take place in worlds where the local civilization is just beginning to conquer skies. So the local GlobalAirship is usually built in this aesthetic.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', in particular, features a world where commercial air travel is commonplace; it's definitely a luxury, but not so much of one that regular tourists and pilgrims can't afford it. Massive military fleets with giant cruisers and one-pilot fighters are also standard. And yet, having your ''personal'' airship is still a great symbol of freedom, accomplishment, and adventure, and Sky Pirates are idolized as rogue heroes and even role models for ''achieving'' this freedom, rather than regarded as dangerous criminals.
* Corki, the Daring Bombadier from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' flies around the battlefield in a heavily-armed {{Magitek}} gyrocopter.
* The Barnstormer from ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilationKingdoms'', which resembles a three-way cross between the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_Flyer Wright Flyer,]] a helicopter, and a bat.
* ''VideoGame/GunsOfIcarus'' and its MMO sequel, ''Guns of Icarus Online'', has you participating in combat between different kinds of fanciful airships in a {{Steampunk}} setting.
* {{VideoGame/Obsidian}} has its own moth-like Ornithopter. But don't even question how it flies in this case, 80% of the game is inside dream worlds; It's powered by a Zoetrope!
* ''VideoGame/LighthouseTheDarkBeing'' features two ornithopters in the parallel world. One of them is shaped like a bat, and it can be remotely summoned when playing an electronic pan pipe at its highest frequency.
* ''VideoGame/BrothersATaleOfTwoSons'' has a scene where the brothers need to ride a hang-glider that can be controlled by moving around and shifting weight to tilt the machine.
* ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'', the floating city of Columbia powered by HARD, if somewhat questionable, science, and with a delightful early 1900 style, it is truly a marvelous, magnificent flying city.
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'' has Leonard of Quirm's Flapping-Wing-Flying-Device (pedal-powered ornithopter). A model briefly appears in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', but in the game he's built a full-size version. [[spoiler: Which Lewton flies in the final battle with Nylonathotep]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gigantic}}'' each team of heroes arrive on the battlefield aboard a winged airship and re-spawn there if they die in combat.
* Because the game doesn't limit on what shape you can make your airships in ''VideoGame/AirshipsConquerTheSkies'', it usually results in this trope. Usually the basic design of airship with bare bone essentials are big wooden boxes, lifted to the sky only by the power of [[AppliedPhlebotinum suspendium]].
* The ''VideoGame/PropCycle'' is a flying bicycle that the player controls using a real bike in the arcade cabinet.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/CodeRealize'', [[Literature/FromTheEarthToTheMoon Impey Barbicane]] successfully builds a steam-powered [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithopter ornithopter]]. It looks like a mechanical mosquito with too many wings and, despite the fact that it seems like there should be no possible way it would ever get off the ground, manages to fly fast and high when needed and can also hover in place.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The air-ships in ''WesternAnimation/TheMysteriousGeographicExplorationsOfJasperMorello'' appear to stay in the air ''solely'' through reaching a critical mass of SteamPunk.
* HomestarRunner's 1936 counterpart had one before [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sneakvideo.html the Sneak knocked him out of it]]. We never get to see what it looked like. Sir Strong Bad is also briefly seen piloting a Wright Flyer.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Project0}}'', because they know that Owen [[CameFromTheSky fell from the sky]] the kids try to build one of these thinking it's the best way to get him home.
** They have blueprints for a model helicopter, but the machine is a mix between a helicopter and a hovercraft. Considering Owen is a RealityWarper it's probably [[FridgeBrilliance an easy mistake to make for a group of kids.]]
* Gil's bat-wing flyer in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' counts (and provides the page quote, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20030623 here]]). Some of the {{Cool Airship}}s found throughout the work are examples as well.
** And [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040526 lifegliders.]] Can't forget lifegliders. If the survival equipment looks like [[HotSkittyOnWailordAction offspring of a bat and a blimp]], this tells something about the world.
* KK's steam helicopter in ''Webcomic/FreakAngels.''
* ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'': [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=231 The Jules Verne approach vs. the H.G. Wells approach.]]
* A regular fixture in ''Webcomic/{{Wondermark}}'', such as [[http://wondermark.com/550 "In Which Salvation is Summoned."]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebOriginal/TheClockworkRaven'' is all about this. In addition to the title machine, a canvas-winged ornithopter that mostly works as a glider, the characters like to watch flying machines on an island far below their [[FloatingContinent Floating Continent]] home. They see [[https://theclockworkraven.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/wings-4/ examples]] of almost every one of this trope's rules.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', despite being set in the 31st century, occasionally shows flying machines that fit this trope right alongside {{Flying Car}}s and ShinyLookingSpaceships. Bender once referred to the protagonists' CoolStarship as "the Flying Machine", evoking this trope (though their ship is not itself an example).
** Leonardo's spaceship in "The Duh-Vinci Code" is probably an example, though, and there are more on the planet Vinci.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Parodied in a 1995 episode that featured a fortune-teller predicting Lisa's life in the far-off future year of [[TheNewTens 2010]]. We see [[NotAllowedToGrowUp eight-year-old]]- er, ''twenty-three-year-old'' Lisa travel in a "futuristic" airliner that looks like the [[HotSkittyOnWailordAction illegitimate child of a modern jumbo-jet and the Wright Flyer]], with numerous fragile-looking canvas wings attached to a modern-looking fuselage.
-->'''Lisa:''' I just love these new planes!\\
'''Hugh:''' Yes, it's a good thing they re-evaluated those wacky old designs!
** Also parodied via a short sight-gag in another episode. The ''Da Vinci Airport'' [[note]]Perhaps meant to be the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci-Fiumicino_Airport Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport]]'' near Rome.[[/note]] in UsefulNotes/{{Italy}} seems to be host to a lot of flying machines designed by the man it is named after.
* The flying machines built by [[WrenchWench Gadget]] in ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers''.
* ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines''.
* From ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'', you had the Crimson Haybaler.
* The Flintstone Flyer in the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'', a pedal-operated whirlygig invented by Barney (despite the name). Later in the series, planes were just modern airliners with pterodactyls instead of jets, or else [[GiantFlyer one giant pterodactyl]] with a cabin mounted on top.
* Used at least once (probably more, due to the Steampunk setting) in ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack''.
* Seen in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', "Griffon the Brush-Off", where Pinkie Pie tries at one point to keep up with Rainbow Dash and Gilda in a pedal-powered helicopter decorated with candy-cane stripes which Dash accurately describes as a "crazy contraption".
** [[spoiler:Tank the tortoise]] gets outfitted with propellers in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E7MayTheBestPetWin May The Best Pet Win!]]".
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E9SweetAndElite Sweet and Elite]]", Rarity christens an airship, which is made up of a conventional-looking boat suspended from a fish-shaped balloon.
* The ''St. George'' from ''WesternAnimation/DragonHunters''.
* The Creator/{{Disney}} WartimeCartoon ''Victory Through Air Power'' starts off with a humorous review of the progress of the airplane from ThoseMagnificentFlyingMachines of the early days of aviation to the deadly warplanes of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* The 1972 ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'' episode "The Ghost Of The Red Baron" (crossover with Film/TheThreeStooges) had bi-planes all over the place, one of which, airborne, had Velma in the cockpit--and she doesn't know how to operate it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheGhoulSchool'', the cadets at Calloway Military Academy have a pedal-powered helicopter.
* ''WesternAnimation/AlbertTheFifthMusketeer'' sometimes made use of a human-powered ornithopter. In the contraption's debut episode, it doesn't allow a CrewOfOne (or at least, not when the pilot is too short to reach the pedals), so he has to ask the Queen to help him pilot it to rescue the rest of his team.
* The various steampunk-ish aircraft seen in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' are generally pretty plausible, but Asami's airship is as magnificent as it is impossible. It looks like the offspring of a blimp and a skyscraper, being mostly made of glass and metal and featuring an excessively huge and lavishly-decorated bridge. Eight comparatively small propellers attached to the back half of the ship (via huge and ornate metal frames) supposedly keep the monster airborne.
* On ''WesternAnimation/DinosaurTrain'', "Dinosaur Train: Zeppelin Adventure" is a two-part special featuring the latest innovation from Dinosaur Train Industries: a zeppelin. It doesn't seem to travel through time, but it can the characters places that the train and the submarine can't. It comes complete with its own catchy theme tune.

[[folder:Other / Real Life]]
* Honourable mention must go to the Wright [[SiblingTeam brothers]], who created the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine. It stayed airborne for all of twelve seconds... but look at what it started!
** While their twelve second flight is the most famous, they actually made four flights that day, with the longest lasting a full 59 seconds.
** Though the Wright Brothers are generally accepted as the inventors of heavier-than-air flight, the title has historically been contested by Samuel Pierpont Langley, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Gustave Whitehead, and others. Please see [[Analysis/ThoseMagnificentFlyingMachines this trope's Analysis page]] for more.
* Creator/LeonardoDaVinci dreamed up a whole range of Magnificent Flying Machines, including human-powered ornithopters and corkscrew helicopters.
* [[http://www.redbullflugtagusa.com/ Red Bull Flügtag]] showcases some hilarious, inefficient, ineffective but ultimately awesome "flying" machines.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h6BzNwACDs This clip]] presents black-and-white stock footage that includes several silly airplanes and helicopters failing (two examples at the beginning, then more about halfway through).
* A working, human-powered [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithopter ornithopter]] was built by University of UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}} post-graduate students and [[http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/university-of-toronto-students-make-history-with-human-powered-flight/article1719728/ flown successfully in August 2010]] (though earlier flights can contest the "world's first" claim in the article, this is likely the most successful, and elaborate, design used so far). Interestingly, the design was created using Creator/LeonardoDaVinci's sketches as an early starting point, though the final product looks nothing like his work (but no less impressive in flight for that).
* An annual festival in Japan[[note]]Can someone provide link? Google isn't very helpful right now.[[/note]] brings together man-powered contraptions to essentially leap off a cliff together in their pursuit of flight. Success is measured in distance and seconds, but isn't the sole criteria; points are given for design originality and sheer ballsy-ness.
* A series of 3-dimensional models in the Chinook Mall (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) are this. They're suspended from a track which they periodically move around. Only one is an actual airplane.
* The ideas of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Lana_de_Terzi Francesco Lana de Terzi]], an Italian Jesuitic priest of the XVII century deserve mention here. He envisioned what basically was a flying boat, where lift would be given by copper spheres with no air inside[[note]]The design would not work, beginning with the atmospheric pressure crushing the spheres[[/note]].
* As mentioned above, various aircraft designs of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI embodied this aesthetic, partially because at the time the great powers of the world needed ''absolutely anything that could vaguely fly'' that they could get their hands on in order to wrest a potential advantage from the skies, floating alongside observation balloons and [[UsefulNotes/{{Airships}} Zeppelins.]] Among the more fanciful designs were the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etrich_Taube Entrich Taube]], the very first bomber in the world whose wings physically bended and twisted in order to steer, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Aircraft_Factory_B.E.9 BE9]] who attempted to circumvent the issue of early fighters potentially shooting through their propeller by ''placing the gunner in front of it in a wooden box'' (this was prior to the invention of the synchronization gear), and the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fokker_A.I Fokker A.I]], a reconnaissance monoplane whose wings were controlled by a system of external cables mounted on a mast-like structure.