flight


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Related to flight: flight status, Flight game

flight

(flīt)
1. The motion of an object through air.
2. Escape.
[O.E. flyht]

flight

any locomotion through air, either active or passive (gliding). Active flight is brought about by the movement of wings by muscles as in bats, birds and insects; gliding involves a minimum of muscular effort and is found only in some larger birds and certain mammals adapted for flight, such as the flying lemur or flying fox. In birds, muscles are attached directly to the wings and are of two main types: depressor muscles which produce the downstroke and run from the humerus to the STERNUM, and elevator muscles which produce the upstroke and are attached to the upper surface of the HUMERUS by a tendon which runs through the pectoral girdle to the sternum. In insects such as bees, wasps, flies, beetles and bugs, the muscles raising and lowering the wing are attached to the walls of the thorax (indirect flight muscles) and not to the wings and are called asynchronous fibrillar muscles. Direct flight muscles attached to the wings alter the angle and adjust the wings to the resting position. In other insects, for example, the dragonflies, the flight muscles are called synchronous muscles, being attached directly to the wings. Asynchronous wing beats are much slower than synchronous ones.
References in classic literature ?
Hast thou turnd the least of these To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise Unvanquisht, easier to transact with mee That thou shouldst hope, imperious, & with threats To chase me hence?
But we were obliged to fire at them during flight, which gave us few chances to bring them down; and, indeed, we vainly exhausted one half our ammunition.
The front of this living column was distinctly marked by a line but very slightly indented, so regular and even was the flight.
As the sun rose on the second day of our flight it disclosed the pursuing horde not a half-mile in our rear.
Joe, who had immediately sprung up after his fall, just as one of the swiftest horsemen rushed upon him, bounded like a panther, avoided his assailant by leaping to one side, jumped up behind him on the crupper, seized the Arab by the throat, and, strangling him with his sinewy hands and fingers of steel, flung him on the sand, and continued his headlong flight.
It was the unanticipated and entirely successful flight of Mr.
After the twenty-eighth of October when the frosts began, the flight of the French assumed a still more tragic character, with men freezing, or roasting themselves to death at the campfires, while carriages with people dressed in furs continued to drive past, carrying away the property that had been stolen by the Emperor, kings, and dukes; but the process of the flight and disintegration of the French army went on essentially as before.
Strutting about with great show and braggadocio, he strove to impress his followers with the mere nothingness of so trivial a feat as flying birdlike thousands of yards above the jungle, though it was long until he had thoroughly convinced himself by the force of autosuggestion that he had enjoyed every instant of the flight and was already far advanced in the art of aviation.
So they again took up their flight through the wilderness, taking with them a half-dozen of the Mosulas to carry provisions and the tents that Anderssen had smuggled aboard the small boat in preparation for the attempted escape.
She was already halfway up the first flight of stairs, with a whirl of skirts and flying feet.
A second arrow and a third soared up, missing Broken-Tooth, rustling the leaves as they passed through, arching in their flight and returning to earth.
He read only fear and panic from the sounds, deduced that the village was fleeing to its mountain fastnesses, but did not know the cause of the flight.