Jonathan: Your mother tells me you...can fly?Flight has always possessed an inherent appeal for humans that most animals don't share. Millennia of evolution into highly intelligent tool-users and a century of true aviation later, and the appeal still remains — the desire to take to the skies unaided is so basic it's an expected theme in nighttime dreaming. Much like starburst, flight has quite the rainbow of flavors; to accomplish this feat, characters might ...
Clark: Kal-El can fly. Clark Kent is still earthbound.
Jonathan: How did that feel?
Clark: Amazing. And scary. Because if I can do that, maybe I'm capable of anything.
Clark: Kal-El can fly. Clark Kent is still earthbound.
Jonathan: How did that feel?
Clark: Amazing. And scary. Because if I can do that, maybe I'm capable of anything.
— Smallville, "Crusade"
- ... have functional wings like a bird, bat, or insect.
- ... produce mechanical thrust like a rocket or jet engine.
- ... lift themselves or a platform they're standing on telekinetically.
- ... render themselves weightless to defy gravity.
- ... let the air move them by riding strong winds they may or may not have conjured.
- ... use magic or some technological equivalent.
- ... use buoyancy and fill themselves with air like a blimp or balloon.
- ... sometimes jump, really, really far.
- ... just do it, because screw explanations.
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Anime & Manga
- Golden Bat is a superhero who flies faster than a plane. Originally appearing in Kamishibai paper theater in 1930 (see below), he had an anime adaptation in 1966.
- One way to recognize a powerful character in Mahou Sensei Negima! is how easily they can get off the ground, and how long they stay off. The fighting tends to get serious when one of the participants takes to the air.
- In Manga/Bleach, spiritual beings are able to stand on air, however it is not true flight as it is just that, forming footholds with reishi. However, the Quincy are able to actually fly with the wings bestowed upon them, by Vollständig, which grants them immense speed and power in addition to flight. Also, there are some Zanpakuto abilities such as Hitsugaya's that also allow flight in addition to other abilities.
- In the Dragon Ball universe, flight is typically the first of the Ki-based martial arts powers the elite fighters learn (well, after "power to massively kick ass") — it appears to be a skill like any other martial art, and anyone can learn it with the proper training.
At the beginning of Dragon Ball, very few characters could actually fly unaided; it was reserved for characters who had to appear impressively powerful such as Tenshinhan/Tien and Chaotzu in their first appearance as antagonists. Other characters used vehicles, or in Goku's case his flying cloud, Kintoun/Nimbus, or Not Quite Flight like Mercenary Tao riding on thrown pillars. It was not until Dragon Ball Z was in full swing that characters (after months of the same training as Goku at Kami-sama's place) learnt how to use their Ki to fly, and almost every powerful character introduced after this point has the ability. The technique is known as "Bukujutsu/Sky Dancing".
There were moments in the original Dragon Ball where characters had to make do and use whatever methods they could to get themselves off the ground. One of the more iconic examples is Goku using a Kamehameha to propel himself upwards and straight through the torso of the airborn Evil King Piccolo. A slightly more comedic example is Goku shooting a Kamehameha with his feet so that he could have his hands free while airborn. An even more comedic example would be Kuririn/Krillin somehow inflating his body like a balloon to keep himself in the air after he is knocked out of the fighting arena. On other occasions, Goku has flown by spinning his tail like a helicopter and stopped a fall by exhaling with great force. These one-off joke powers are never seen after their debut.
It's even Lampshaded when Goten learns to go Super Saiyan before learning to fly; Gohan compares it to 'Learning to run before you learn to crawl." He suggests Goten be called A Super Pedestrian.
- The titular character of Lyrical Nanoha has repeatedly described and been described as loving the ability to fly through the air more than anything else. In StrikerS several of the lower level mages who are incapable of Flight have said that their greatest goal is to take to the skies.
- While some characters have a Double Jump or use their abilities in a way to stay in the air longer than usual, true flight is notably rare in One Piece. Only three characters (out of Loads and Loads of Characters) have been shown to have it thus far: "Peregrine Falcon" Pell, Lafitte (one panel in Impel Down shows him with wings while landing) and Marco "the Phoenix".
- Mai's magatama rings give her the ability to levitate and fly, though it takes her a few episodes after obtaining them to stop skidding after she lands.
- Natsuki's CHILD, Duran, also has a flight mode, though it isn't as frequently used.
- Several characters in Soul Eater can fly, by way of brooms, familiars, hover boards, and adapted Weapons. The only two shown to do so under their own power are Asura and Shinigami. Shinigami's ability to fly suggests that Kid will eventually learn how to as well.
- Hayao Miyazaki . He is a BIG enthusiast of flight and you can find a flying scene in almost every film he directed: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.
- Orche from March Story gained this ability after getting possessed, which he uses to take girls dancing in the sky... and then drop them onto spikes.
- Despite the prevalence of crazy supernatural abilities in Naruto, only a handful of ninja can actually fly; all three Tsuchikages can control gravity to give themselves and anyone else they touch flight, Fuu does it by manifesting the wings of the demon beetle sealed inside of her, and Sai, Deidara, and Gaara can instantly create flying platforms made respectively of ink, clay, and sand. In addition, the Sage of the Six Paths, as well as those who possess his power (whether it be Pain, the Ten-Tails' Jinchuuriki, or whomever receives chakra from the Sage himself), have the capability of flight.
- One of the most common villain abilities from the Pretty Cure franchise. The Agents from Labyrinth, and Siren and Trio the Minor are exceptions. Cure Bloom/Bright and Cure Egret/Windy are the only Precures with this ability, at least naturally. Several of the others can use this ability, but only if they have a certain upgrade or their fairy helps them.
- One of the abilities granted by the Kaleido Sticks in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, though Miyu shows that it requires at least some input from the weilder as well. As with the original source Caster is also capable of flight.
- This is Silver Crow's primary power in Accel World, and apparently he is the first avatar to obtain this power, though not the first to attempt to gain it.
- While originally possessing only the ability to "leap tall buildings In a Single Bound", Superman later gained the power to fly. The comics moved from showing his leaps to just showing him taking off, landing, or in mid-jump; the Fleischer Studios animators interpreted this as flight. This change was back-propagated into the comics.
- Supergirl can fly as well as Superman. And she is even faster than her cousin.
- Wonder Woman can fly almost as fast as Superman.
- The Martian Manhunter can fly telekinetically.
- In The DCU, Hawkman and Hawkgirl (or Hawkwoman, depending on whether you're in The Golden Age of Comic Books or The Silver Age of Comic Books) can fly by using artificial wings and an anti-gravity belt; in the Justice League animated series, though, Thanagarians like Hawkgirl had natural wings.
- Starfire's flight leaves a distinctive energy contrail behind, looking as if it is coming directly from her hair. Starfire has also been stated to have flown light years through space in short amounts of time.
- In the Marvel Universe, Namor the Sub-Mariner, his cousin Namora, and her daughter Namorita all possess wings...on their feet (echoing the mythological example of the Greco-Roman god Hermes/Mercury).
- The Human Torch of the Fantastic Four was originally explained as being "lighter than air" due to his fiery nature, later on it's established that he uses his flames themselves a form of propulsion and lift.
- Kitty Pryde of the X-Men can, while insubstantial, walk on air as if traversing an invisible staircase.
- Also from Marvel, The Mighty Thor can fly by throwing his mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and simply not letting go. At least originally; modern writers have apparently decided this was too silly. When Thor has to remain stationary in midair, his preferred method is spinning his hammer around his head and hover like a helicopter.
- Prince Vultan (and the other Hawkmen) of Flash Gordon are Winged Humanoids whose culture is based entirely on flight — their kingdom is a large flying castle. They dress (and act) like stereotypical Vikings in the 1980s movie.
- Many characters with Rubber Man powers can inflate their bodies like balloons to temporarily fly; Kirby from his eponymous Nintendo series, Luffy from One Piece, and The DCU's Plastic Man come to mind.
- The Legion of Super-Heroes has "flight rings" as standard pieces of equipment.
- Most of the Front Liners could fly in No Hero. Controller said that it consumes a lot of calories so they have to eat a lot. Also, landing is very tricky and she had broke her knee the first time she tried to land.
- Orient Men can fly, and that's pretty much his sole superpower. He once met a doctor who was certain that Orient Men is just a madman who is deluded that he can fly. When Orient Men indeed flew away, the doctor concluded that it's a particularly severe delusion.
- Doctor Strange can fly with the aid of his Cloak of Levitation.
- Valiant Comics' Zephyr is a somewhat overweight young woman who can fly. And that's it. She insists on dressing in brightly-colored tights and a cape like a traditional superhero, in the Darker and Edgier Deconstruction universe.
- In Monica's Gang, many times Smudge flew by flapping his arms like a bird. Namely, this usually happens as he's about to fall on water, something he hates with a passion.
- Jean Grey of X-Men can fly by using psychokinesis.
- Many heroes in Astro City can fly. Of particular note is the second Hummingbird, who sprouted wings on her twelfth birthday. This turned out to be the first step in a Baleful Polymorph.
- Ron Peterson can fly (like his father, Atlas), in addition to the rest of his abilities. At the beginning of the series, he refused to fly too high due to a fear of getting sucked into a plane turbine. Zodon doesn't help by pointing out that, due to his invulnerability, Ron would be fine while everyone on the plane would die. He gets over it after Zodon redirects a plane at him as a prank, and he's forced to save it.
- Julie Finster is a FISS — Flight, Invulnerability, Speed, Strength. It's the most common suite of powers, and she's the 84th one. She can fly under her own power at high speeds, but despite the fact that she's very strong all around, the fact that there are 83 more people nearly exactly like her means she's treated as barely better than normal. Eventually she accepts this, and takes "84" as her superhero name.
- American Eagle is a girl with eagle wings (hence the name) and electricity powers. She might have some super-strength, too, as she can flap those wings with far more strength and speed than is to be expected considering her size.
- After some dimension-hopping, Cecil's coat is turned into a pair of Cape Wings.
Cecil: I'm never taking this off again! Not even to shower!
- Suzie Finster (Julie's cousin) can fly too. Unfortunately, it's part of her nuclear-powered suite of abilities, so it sheds radiation and she can't do it much.
Suzie: I have to get permission to fly, because if I fly too high someone called "NORAD" gets mad, but if I fly too low stuff starts to melt.
- Three of the four in With Strings Attached.
- John has been transformed permanently into a Winged Humanoid (not human, as he finds out to his sorrow later). He can't take off from the ground and requires a boost of some sort if he doesn't have a cliff to jump off. When flying, he cannot carry anything much bulkier than a megaphone, explicitly pointing out that he can't even fetch groceries.
- George frequently transforms himself into flying critters, as small as a fly and as big as a dragon.
- Ringo once levitated himself out of danger, but the process was so blind and frightening that he never tried to do it again.
- In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, he gets potions of levitation so he can at least go up and down; Paul uses these as well.
- The title character of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf and all Psyches have the ability of flight due to having telekinetic abilities.
Films — Animation
- In the animated film The Flight of Dragons, dragons fly by buoyancy; they keep gemstones in their craws, use them to grind limestone, the limestone reacts with stomach acid to produce hydrogen, and bingo, flight and fire breathing as a two-for-one.
Notably, this concept is three kinds of stupid: 1) it takes massive volumes of hydrogen to provide lift, 2) it's extremely explosive (one dragon breathes on the "air sack" of the other and you get the Hindenburg), and 3) limestone plus acid equals carbon dioxide... which is going in exactly the wrong direction for both the powers quoted.
- The Book of Life:
- La Muerte can levitate herself.
- Xibalba can either levitate himself or use his wings.
Films — Live-Action
- The various incarnations of Mechagodzilla are typically equipped with rocket-powered flight (either innately or via an add-on unit). Notoriously, Godzilla himself also used his atomic breath like a rocket in Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. No, really.
- In the Italian B-movie L'Uomo puma (known to MST3K fans as "Puma Man"), the main character has all of his powers based on puma abilities — including the ability to "leap" great distances (as a visual effect, indistinguishable from stock superhero flight). This delights Mike and the 'bots no end ("Are pumas known for their ability to fly?"). Adding to the comedy is the obvious blue screen flying effects along with the actor being suspended by wires, along with unstable camera shots, making it seem as if The Pumaman is not only floundering around, waving his limbs wildly, but is flying in odd directions (i.e. sideways).
- In Man of Steel, Clark can break the sound barrier and engage in aerial combat. He also tends to leave large cracked dents in the ground whenever he takes off.
- If the eponymous villain in Warlock performs a certain spell for which he needs to kill and harvest an unbaptized child, he can fly through the air at his own discretion.
- In Up, Up and Away!, Bronze Eagle and his father Steel Condor can fly. However, Steel Condor is so old that his flight is slower than cars that pass under him. Scott pretends to fly by going outside, throwing a ball at tree branches, and running away before his parents come outside.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past:
- The Future Sentinels have this capability.
- The Prototype Sentinels can fly through a thruster adapted from a Harrier jet, which is mounted in their chest.
- In The Matrix Trilogy, Neo is able to fly, but only when he's jacked into the Matrix, due to his power over the underlying code. Later in the trilogy, his Evil Counterpart Agent Smith gains the same ability, but really only uses it in the Final Battle.
- In Half Baked, the three main characters gain the power to fly after smoking marijuana. A brief scene later in the film shows several people in a disco floating and flying around.
- In The People, interplanetary visitors land on Earth and build a small town. They have the power to fly, though this is revealed only when some of the children take to the air, thus disobeying the adults, who are trying to hide their powers from the general public.
- This is based on "Pottage", a novella in The People series by Zenna Henderson (see below).
- Oberon in Adam R. Brown's Alterien sees Theseus fly away and later discovers he can do the same after the Sisters of Orion teach him.
- In Astral Dawn, the high spirits can fly quite easily. The high spirits can accomplish this because they have no physical weight to hold them down and are not subject to gravitational laws. With their energy forms providing the force required to achieve flight, the high spirits fly using their thoughts.
- In the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) tale, The Ebony Horse, a flying mechanical horse Robot controlled using keys could fly, through the skies and even into outer space and towards the Sun. The titular ebony horse can fly the distance of one year in a single day, and is used as a vehicle by the Prince of Persia, Qamar al-Aqmar, in his adventures across Persia, Arabia, and Byzantium. This story appears to have influenced later European tales such as Adenes Le Roi's Cleomades and "The Squire's Prologue and Tale" in The Canterbury Tales.
- In Journey to the West, the protagonist Sun Wukong (a.k.a. Son Goku) flies on a cloud.
- Technically possible for mages in Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe, but it is so magically taxing that virtually no one uses it.
- Early literary example: J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Peter can fly by himself, and shares the power with his companions via fairy dust. In later adaptations Peter's flight has an unusual weakness: you have to think happy thoughts to fly. This means that sad people can't fly until they change their attitude. This was even deconstructed with Captain Hook in a Peter Pan live action, getting pixie dust and flying because getting to fight Peter on a even playing field makes him very happy. (This weakness, like Neverland being "the second star to the right", was something Peter only said because he's incapable of telling the Darling children "I don't know" when they ask him questions, instead making things up. Later movies took both of these and ran with it.)
- In The Legendsong Saga windwalking is the ‘power’ possessed by Acanthans. While windwalkers can lift themselves with just the power of their mind, for longer times/distances they also use a harness with gliding wings. Solen is a particularly strong windwalker.
- Arthur Dent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy teaches himself to fly by an ancient method: he jumps at the ground and misses. It turns out that this can only happen under certain circumstances: you have to be distracted just as you're about to hit the ground. Also, it's important that you not think about how unusual it is to be flying, or else gravity will notice you.
- Throughout Harry Potter, flight via broomstick, car, and motorbike (and, it was implied, magic carpet) is commonplace. Somehow never explained in the last book, Voldemort and Snape both gain the ability to fly without any other apparatus. It's implied that Voldemort invented an unaided flight spell, a sign of his magical genius.
Also depending on your interpretation at the start of book 1, Harry's accidental magic of "jumping and appearing on the top of the school" is either flight or Apparation, but due to Lily Potter's accidental Hovering in Snape's memories it is more likely flight.
- Winged centaurs in Xanth have the talent of making things lighter by flicking them with their tails. In order to fly, they flick their own butts a few times and then take off. This also justifies the ability to carry immense weights, because anything they have to carry they simply make lighter. An added benefit is that if you fall off of the winged centaur's back mid-flight, you'll float to the ground as if you had a parachute. However, if you've just disembarked and it's windy, you could have trouble.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe: Force Flight falls under the "telekinetic" variant of the power, but it is very difficult to pull off successfully, let alone for long periods of time (it tires one out easily due to the sheer amount of concentration and energy required); not even the Skywalkers (contrary to the name) use it with any frequency.
- The eponymous Guardians in The Guardians are Winged Humanoids, and many demonic and Chaotic creatures can shapeshift into winged forms. The Guardians also go for a little Power Perversion Potential during flight.
- Done by magic in Krabat. You can even take a non-magic user as a passenger, so to speak.
- The Lost Art Of Flyte in Septimus Heap is a Flight spell that gains plot importance in Flyte and Physik.
- Trapped on Draconica: The dragokin can fly because they have dragon wings.
- In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, as the title said. Piper first flew when she rolled off the table while her mother was changing her diaper. Since she was born very late to a woman who thought herself barren, the mother's first thought is that that's the sort of thing you expect when doing things the way they shouldn't be done.
- Janine, in Dinoverse finds herself in the body of a giant pterosaur. It takes her a long time to learn to fly, especially considering how quickly the other characters adapt to the skills of their groundbound bodies. When she finally gets the hang of it, she's able to solve almost every problem they come across, so for most of the rest of the book she has to be absent or incapable in order for conflict to be maintained.
- In Betty Brock's beloved classic No Flying in the House, Annabel can fly because she is part fairy. Once she becomes aware of this, she's told she has to choose between living as a fairy or remaining with her human grandmother.
- The Hansen women in Rita Murphy's Night Flying can all fly, but restrict themselves to flying only at night so people won't find out. This is just one of many family rules; each generation has to add a rule, and things are getting pretty strictured. Georgia is about to turn sixteen and is gearing up for her first solo flight, when her wild Aunt Carmen shows up to reveal some unnerving secrets.
- Zenna Henderson's The People can float and fly (they call it "lifting") among their many other paranormal abilities.
- In Alexander Belyaev's Ariel the eponymous youth is rendered able to somehow "order" the heat motion of atoms in his body in single direction. Later he learns how to emulate several other Stock Superpowers with this (Walk on Water to mock religious peasants, Super Strength by flying his arms under the weight, Super Speed by dashing just abowe ground while pretending to run, etc. )
- The Sartan can fly (using the proper spells) in The Death Gate Cycle. The Patryns, a rival Witch Species, can't, unless they shapeshift into something with wings, since their magic is more firmly rooted in the material world; Haplo the Patryn, while in an Enemy Mine with Alfred the Sartan, feels a stab of irritation when he contemplates this fact.
- This is one of the impossible things that Mr. Impossible can do in the Mr. Men books; he simply stands outside and flaps his arms, and away he soars. ("You try it," says the narration, "it's impossible!")
- In Michael C. Bailey's Action Figures - Issue One: Secret Origins, doing this is what gives Carrie away to Matt as a superhero. (She was given the powers by an alien.)
- One of the titular Midnight's Children has this power, though we aren't given any details.
- In The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School, Amy has the ability to make herself lighter or heavier, and when she's lighter she can float off the ground, but has no control over her movement. She finds that she is also able to make other objects lighter or heavier, and eventually to direct the motion of objects she's levitated. During the climactic confrontation, she has a breakthrough when she discovers that the latter ability still works when the object in question is herself, giving her the power of fully-controlled flight.
- In The Flying Boy Jeremy was always flying since he drank the Anti-Gravity Potion. He can't touch the ground for three seconds.
- Everybody can levitate in Damon Knight's novella Dio (aka The Dying Man). Everybody is also immortal and eternally young and beautiful. It's when the title character suddenly loses the ability to fly, while in midair, and the resultant injuries don't heal instantly, that he knows something is really wrong.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Amy can do this in Season 8.
- In Smallville, one of the major criticisms is directed toward Clark's "no tights, no flights" rule, although he has flown in Crusade and in the finale. Warrior lampshades this by having a boy receive superpowers including flight, which he didn't know before. He immediately goes "Holy crap! I can fly!"
- Forever Knight: Vampires can fly in this series (and no, they don't have wings). Nick himself is often seen flying around the city when a car isn't fast enough.
- On Heroes, Sylar seems to use his telekinesis to fly (or at least levitate really fast), although it's mostly implied off-screen and never really explicitly shown. Flight is also Nathan Petrelli's only power, and was copied by Peter.
- In The Flying Cestmir, Cestmir is transported to a planet of plants and gains six magical seeds which he grows into flowers. Smelling their scent gives people super abilities and skills for a certain period of time. One of the flower causes that Cestmir and others can suddenly fly.
- Some Kamen Riders are able to this:
- The aptly named Skyrider has the ability to fly as his signature.
- Kamen Rider 555 in Blaster Form has a jetpack that grants him flight.
- The Riders in Kamen Rider Blade have to ability to seal a defeated Monster of the Week into a magical card. They can use these cards to gain special abilities based on said monsters. The 'Float Dragonfly' card gives the user the ability to fly. Also, when the The Hero and The Lancer receive their Mid-Season Upgrade, wings are added to their suits.
- Kamen Rider W gains wings gains wings to defeat the villainous Kamen Rider Eternal during the climax of The Movie.
- Kamen Rider OOO has his powerset based on numerous animals. The bird-based Tajador form and and dinosaur-based Putotyra form both are able to fly using wings, which in the latter are mounted on his head. Kamen Rider Birth, the Second Rider, can also fly by using a function on his suit.
- Kamen Rider Fourze can fly by using a rocket attached to his arm.
- Both Riders in Kamen Rider Wizard are able to fly. Wizard, a user Elemental Powers is able to fly by using the power of wind, while Kamen Rider Beast, a multi- Animal Themed Super Being can do this when using eagle powers.
- In Power Rangers, some Battlizers (mostly American exclusive Super Modes) give the user the ability to fly. Examples include the very first Red Battlizer Armor, the Animarium Armor and the Tribattlized Armor.
Myths & Religion
- Not surprisingly, this is commonly ascribed to gods, angels, demons, witches, etc.
- Several Greek gods and monsters can fly thanks to the bird wings growing from their backs, and Hermes gets to fly solely because of winged sandals. Daedalus and Icarus flew using mechanical wings.
- Several Indian Hindu gods fly, most notably Hanuman from the Ramayana. He is often considered the inspiration behind Sun Wukong (a.k.a. Son Goku) in Journey to the West, but where Sun Wukong flies on a cloud, Hanuman can fly on his own.
- All players, and other shrouds, in Anathema have wings and can fly as fast as a commercial jet.
- Of course the Flight and Overland Flight spells in Dungeons & Dragons.
- Flight is one of the special abilities that many creatures possess in Magic: The Gathering. Only other flying creatures, or creatures with the special ability "Reach", can block fliers. While there are many many spells and creatures that can counter flight, it's still a powerful ability that should not be overlooked. Especially since some of the most powerful creatures in the game such as dragons, angels, and vampires all possess it. Flight is present in all colours except for Green, which gets it very arely at best, though White and Blue still stand out by far as the best flyers.
- Sufficiently powerful telekinetics and magnekinetics in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution can fly by picking themselves up or by riding wind currents, respectively.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Blood Angels' Primarch Sanguinius had huge white bird-like wings that allowed him to fly. His brother primarch Corvus Corax was so jealous he didn't stop training with a jetpack until he could match him, while Blood Angel Librarians can use a psychic spell called Wings of Sanguinius to leap across terrain, even when in Dreadnoughts. You may now imagine multi-ton, smoke-belching walking tanks hurtling across the sky to bring death and destruction to the Emperor's enemies.
- In BIONICLE, Toa Lewa possesses the Mask of Levitation and Toa Nuparu uses the Mask of Flight. The two are related, but different — rather like a hot air balloon and an aeroplane respectively. Additionally, both Toa Lewa and Toa Matau have swords that can be used as wings. As Toa of Air, they use their control over the winds to aid them in their flight.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Mario seems to win a new way of flying with every console generation (except the Gamecube): The Tanooki suit, Magic Ballons, the Feather cape, Wing cap, and lately a more conventional Up, Up and Away! method of flying using red star's power.
- The Rocket Nozzle attachment for FLUDD in Super Mario Sunshine gives him the power to fly straight upward.
- His friend/steed Yoshi could fly in Super Mario World as well, but only for a limited time when holding a blue koopa shell (or any koopa shell if the Yoshi was blue). Later games mellowed it down to a limited ability to flutter in the air for a few seconds. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl however, his Final Smash lets him grow wings and spew fireballs.
- Wario could fly with his jet hat in Wario Land.
- Princess Peach can fly of the levitating sort in Super Princess Peach.
- Waluigi, defying all logic and reason, can swim in mid-air in Mario Tennis and Mario Hoops 3-on-3
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Miles "Tails" Prower flies, very fast, too. Courtesy of his appropriately named dual-tails which he twirls like a helicopter (Some suspension of belief is required for the detail that he can constantly spin his tail in one direction constantly without having to unspin it to unwind it first.)
- Cream the Rabbit is also capable of flight to a limited extent, using her giant floppy ears (as is her Chao partner Cheese, whose species possess fairy-like wings). Rouge the Bat more conventionally uses her wings, though whether this is flight or just gliding varies between games.
- In Sonic Colors, the Orange Wisp allows Sonic to fly straight up into the air, destroying enemies and obstacles along the way.
- Charmy Bee. The bee who's flying almost every second he's on screen.
- Super Sonic can also fly when his super mode is an Eleventh Hour Superpower. (Most of the time, anyway.)
- Also, from the creators of Sonic, flight is such an important concept in NiGHTS into Dreams... that a unique controller was developed for the game in order to get the full effect. Nearly everything in that game can fly in some way except for the human dreamers themselves at first...
- Ditto with the eponymous character of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Although it's more like a double jump due to it's short duration.
- Flight is one of the Pool Powers in City of Heroes that can be taken in addition to the main powersets, one of four 'travel powers' (the others being Super Speed, Leaping and Teleportation). It's notable among the powers for being technically the slowest, but providing full 3D movement and being very easy to use. And oddly enough, the pool includes a melee attack specifically for use against flyers. The Peacebringer Epic Archetype gets Flight for free. Several popular Temporary Powers are flight-capable jetpacks.
- Sora gains the ability to fly from Peter Pan in the original Kingdom Hearts, though he can only use that ability in Neverland and during select boss battles. Outside of those areas, he does retain the ability to glide around on air currents. Due to the fact that both Neverland and Atlantica were considered Scrappy Levels, Sora cannot fly in the sequels outside of cutscenes (and Mulan's Red Rocket and Peter Pan's Neverland limits), though he does regain the ability to glide and levitate once you unlock Final Form. He can also glide in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, though it's technically useless thanks to Flowmotion. In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, some missions set in Neverland allow the player to fly.
- In Gensokyo, everyone can fly. Even the muggles. The two big exceptions are the main heroines:
- Reimu started the series unable to fly, unlike all of her opponents. She quickly acquired an old flying turtle, until she got the power to float in the sky as her singular ability. Since she's incredibly talented anyway, she can use it to float away from reality and become invulnerable.
- Black Magician Girl Marisa always flies on a Flying Broomstick. Side materials and Word of God have it that she does it to complete her Cute Witch styling because, as Akyuu puts it, "In Gensokyo, it doesn't really matter; anyone can fly."
- Pilotwings and Pilotwings 64 were all about this, using various vehicles to fly around islands and complete challenges. The ultimate prize was the Birdman outfit, which allowed you to fly around the islands without crashing or needing fuel.
- Get this — Rayman can fly by making a helicopter out of his hair. To avoid Game Breaking it's usually just depicted as gliding during most gameplay segments, but there are some instances while using special items or level-specific powers where he can just flat-out fly.
- In a couple of the Devil May Cry games Dante's Devil Trigger can be upgraded with the power of flight.
- In the Heroes of Might and Magic series, flight is incredibly useful. In battle units that can fly avoid all obstacles on the field including siege walls; not something to be taken lightly. And some of the strongest units in the games like dragons and angels all share this power. On the adventure map it's a total Game Breaker since the hero can fly over water, mountains, and garrisons. The spells and artifacts that grant flight are usually disabled in campaign scenarios for this reason.
- The first boss of Bug!, a giant snail. How does such a thing fly? It goes into its shell, a helicopter rotor comes out, then it takes off. And then it'll start dropping bombs all over the place (or trying to crush Bug)!
- In Child of Light, thanks to Aurora gaining fairy wings, flight becomes a standard ability after the first boss battle.
- Embers in the IronGate can do this as part of being enchanted by Fey magic, despite being on a team whose members have supernatural powers, she's the only one who can fly.
- In Blue Yonder, one of Jared's powers, even as a Three-Month-Old Newborn. It makes him think being a bird is good for the view alone. Indeed, there's a whole flashback sequence about the wonders of flight leading to the scene where he's told he's grounded, which means no flying.
- Several characters in El Goonish Shive have some form of flight. Nanase has a spell that allows her to fly, as does Elliot (but the spell turns him into a comic book superheroine rather than simply allowing him to fly), and Grace can use her telekinesis. Two villains have also been capable of magical flight.
- Jack of Gunnerkrigg Court recently displayed the ability to fly. However, unlike most examples on this page, it is treated as something special and even borderline unbelievable by several characters despite the fact that many other magical abilities have been seen.
- In The Order of the Stick:
- Vaarsuvius can fly — if s/he casts the (presumably Overland) Flight spell, of course, which it seems s/he, as a high-level wizard, has made a habit of casting when the day starts.
- The Empress of Blood can fly. She's a dragon, so this would be expected. But she's also an Adipose Rex. The strip that demonstrated her flying ability was titled "Maybe She Swallowed a Zeppelin".
- Parimetra: Antine, aka the superhero Torch, has both this and fire powers. She doesn't have actual wings, but her fellow hero Gale does, and flies using her wind powers.
- Project 0: Noor is the first seen flying. The others haven't figured out how to yet, hence Owen's insistence on building a flying machine.
- Schlock of Schlock Mercenary has a button on his BFG that switches it to a thruster mode. The rest of the company has flight capabilities built into their low profile Power Armor. It's rarely actually used, since a flying soldier is a more contrast target too far from any cover — or, as Sgt. Leelagaleeni-leeleenoleela put it, skeet.
- In Soul Symphony, flight is another one of the magical spells Olivia possesses.
- The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: There's the Flying Angel costume which allows Marshmallow to fly.
- Every one of the listed ways of flight has been adopted by at least one of the characters in the Whateley Universe. Of course, since it's at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy which has nearly 600 students plus a host of superpowered teachers, it's inevitable that a lot of people there can fly or have figured out how to fake it. One way not mentioned in the list at the top of the page: one girl with magical powers has given her horse wings so she can fly on the horse's back (her horse also magically communicates with her).
- Of the 10,000+ active characters in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, it's estimated that approximately 60% of them have one form of flight or another. All of the options listed on the page have multiple examples (including a bunch that use the "winged mount" method cited in the previous Whateley Universe example).
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Vulture invented his Magnetic Air Transport System, a suit of flight-capable Powered Armor, while the Green Goblin rides on his bat-shaped Goblin glider that he created as Norman Osborn.
- In the original Transformers series, the power of Flight was one of the defining characteristics between Autobots and Deceptions — all Decepticons could fly in their robot form, but only the few Autobots with air or space transformations could do so (plus Sideswipe, who was equipped with a rocketpack, and Tracks, whose car altmode had wings). The Dinobots could fly in their robot modes (Swoop in either mode). No reason given for why, but it was awesome.
This leads to a brief Let's You and Him Fight situation in Transformers Animated when the Earth Autobots meet Jetstorm and Jetfire, two Autobots on Sentinel's team who have been upgraded with flight capability based on Starscream's specs. The Earth Autobots briefly mistake the two for Decepticons and attack them because, to the best of their knowledge, only Decepticons can fly. In the Grand Finale, Rachet builds a jetpack for Optimus so he can fight Megatron on a more even footing.
- Static from Static Shock flies by magnetically levitating any handy metal platform. In early episodes he would use a nearby garbage pail lid or manhole cover, in later episodes he carried a folding metal disc in his pocket.
- Code Lyoko:
- Jade from Jackie Chan Adventures would combine the power of the Rooster (levitation) and the Rabbit(speed) talismans to give herself flight.
- On The Fairly Oddparents, fairies, pixies, anti-fairies, and genies can fly. Oddly, though all of them except genies have wings, they never seem to use them to fly. It's also one of the Crimson Chin's powers, and Crash Nebula can use a jet pack.
- On Danny Phantom, it's a standard ghost power.
- The Furlings from Once Upon a Forest build an aircraft using Bamboo Technology called "The Flapper Wingamathing" so that they can retrieve a herb growing on a tall cliff-side for their comatose friend.
- Of the Teen Titans, Starfire is a Flying Brick, Raven is telekinetic, and Beast Boy transforms into birds. Robin and Cyborg have to make do with single-episode glider capes and rockets strapped to their backs, respectively. Usually Robin and Cyborg are in the care of their flight-capable companions during the stints when they have need.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In the finale, Ozai uses the power of the comet to fly by propelling himself with jets of fire
- Similarly, Azula uses her fire powers like a jetpack on several occasions, though not as controlled and extensively as Ozai managed
- Normally Aang can fly all the time with only a fragile-looking glider and airbending. Without it he can manage Not Quite Flight and some big jumps. While in the Avatar State he can airbend strongly enough not to need the glider at all.
- Aang's ten tonne air-bison Appa can fly, much to Sokka's incredulity. He's the team's usual mode of transport.
- In the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra
- True flight is revealed to be possible by an airbender who severs their ties to the material world. In the case of Zaheer, it is the death of his lover that leads to him achieving this power.
- Korra uses a glider like Aang after she learns airbending. During her fight with Zaheer she uses flame-jets like Ozai and Azula.
- In the My Little Pony franchise, the pegasi (winged ponies) and alicorns (winged unicorns) are the only ponies who can fly naturally. This doesn't exclude other kinds, though. In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, There is a spell to give other kinds of ponies wings... but only for a limited time And then you have Twilight Sparkle self levitating in the third season. And then by the end of the season it became obsolete. Although, the flight lessons might not have taken, given her performance here.
- The eponymous creatures of Gargoyles possess wings, but as they explain to Eliza, they are not capable of true flight, instead gliding on warm air currents (though this doesn't prevent Brooklyn from flapping his wings a couple times to try to stay aloft while carrying and unconscious Lexington).
- In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh's Up Up and Awry Episode, Pooh expresses his wish to fly in the sky like kite and bees and so tries many ways with the help of Eeyore which results in him and his friends being arrested for "Breaking Laws of Gravity". In the end it is implied that indeed, Pooh can fly.
- In Young Justice, out of the sixteen members of the Justice League, only Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Aquaman have no flight capabilities whatsoever. Conversely, among the teenage focus characters, only Miss Martian can fly.
- Many characters of Adventure Time, particularly Ice King, Lady Rainicorn, and Marceline.
- Like Young Justice, most of the characters in Justice League can fly. Only Batman and The Flash can't fly. And Batman has a jet anyway.