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 ?
He reefed hastily to the uttermost, and at the same time depressed the angle of his flight to meet that upward surge.
An adept at winged blackmail, he had no aptitude for wings himself, and when he gazed down at the flying land and water far beneath him, he did not feel moved to attack his captor, now defenseless, both hands occupied with flight.
He had fallen into air-holes before, in previous flights, but this was a far larger one than he had ever encountered.
If this had been effected, who would have ever imagined that in an early transitional state they had been inhabitants of the open ocean, and had used their incipient organs of flight exclusively, as far as we know, to escape being devoured by other fish?
When we see any structure highly perfected for any particular habit, as the wings of a bird for flight, we should bear in mind that animals displaying early transitional grades of the structure will seldom continue to exist to the present day, for they will have been supplanted by the very process of perfection through natural selection.
I pray you to draw a flight shaft with all your strength down the valley, that we may see the length of your shoot."
"I' faith, it is a very long flight. Yet wood and steel may do more than flesh and blood."
The silent common, the impulse of my flight, the starting flames, were as if they had been in a dream.
I often meditate upon this scene--the two of us, half-grown cubs, in the childhood of the race, and the one mastering his fear, beating down his selfish impulse of flight, in order to stand by and succor the other.
The front of this living column was distinctly marked by a line but very slightly indented, so regular and even was the flight. Even Marmaduke forgot the morality of Leather-Stocking as it approached, and, in common with the rest, brought his musket to a poise.
The air was filled with their irregular flight, layer rising above layer, far above the tops of the highest pines, none daring to advance beyond the dangerous pass; when, suddenly, some of the headers of the feathered tribes shot across the valley, taking their flight directly over the village, and hundreds of thousands in their rear followed the example, deserting the eastern side of the plain to their persecutors and the slain.
Was Van Horn's darkness as the darkness of the blue-bottle fly that his fly-flapping maid smashed and disrupted in mid-flight of the air?-- as the darkness into which passed the mosquito that knew the secret of flying, and that, despite its perfectness of flight, with almost an unthought action, he squashed with the flat of his hand against the back of his neck when it bit him?