Things That Fly

Welcome to our list of things that fly! ✈️🪽🦋🚀🕊️

Flying is the act of traveling through the air, typically accomplished with the assistance of machines like airplanes, helicopters, or even the natural ability of certain creatures. It’s a remarkable experience that allows humans and some animals to traverse great distances swiftly and efficiently. The sensation of flying can bring a unique sense of freedom and awe as you soar above the ground, witnessing breathtaking aerial views and embracing the feeling of weightlessness that comes with defying gravity.

Here’s a gallery of things that fly, with a categorised descriptive list below:


These insects showcase the remarkable diversity in the insect world, each adapted to fly for various purposes including foraging, mating, and evading predators.

  • Bees: Including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bee species.
  • Butterflies: From iconic monarchs to swallowtails, admirably recognized for their graceful flight.
  • Dragonflies: Known for their agile flight and vibrant, elongated bodies.
  • Damselflies: Similar to dragonflies but generally smaller, with slimmer bodies.
  • Flies: A vast group encompassing houseflies, fruit flies, and hoverflies among others.
  • Mosquitoes: Recognizable for their distinct buzzing flight and unfortunately, their biting tendencies.
  • Wasps: Including paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets, often seen flying swiftly.
  • Ants: Winged ants, known as alates, fly during certain stages of their life cycle.
  • Moths: Diverse in size and appearance, with many species displaying nocturnal flight.
  • Crickets: Can fly, but often known for their hopping and chirping.
  • Grasshoppers: Renowned for their strong jumping ability, but some species can also fly.
  • Cicadas: Known for their distinctive buzzing sound during flight, especially in summer.
  • Beetles: Many beetle species can fly, while others are flightless.
  • True Bugs: Including stink bugs, water striders, and various species of assassin bugs.
  • Termites: During their reproductive phase, winged termites or alates fly to start new colonies.
  • Midges and Gnats: Small flying insects often found near bodies of water.
  • Stoneflies: Typically found near freshwater habitats, with some capable of flight.
  • Mayflies: Known for their brief adult life stage and delicate flying behavior.
  • Earwigs: Despite their name, they can fly short distances.
  • Lacewings: Recognizable by their delicate, lace-like wings and aerial prowess.
  • Crane Flies: Often mistaken for large mosquitoes, they’re harmless and known for their leggy appearance.
  • Fireflies: Emitting bioluminescent flashes during flight for mating and communication.
  • Horseflies: Large, biting flies known for their persistent flight around animals.
  • Black Flies: Small, robust flies often found near streams and known for their painful bites.
  • Deer Flies: Similar to horseflies, they are relentless biters.
  • Tsetse Flies: Found in sub-Saharan Africa, known for transmitting sleeping sickness.
  • Robber Flies: Predatory insects resembling bees or wasps.
  • Biting Midges: Small, blood-feeding flies found in various habitats.
  • Whiteflies: Small, sap-sucking insects commonly found on the undersides of leaves.
  • Aphids: Small insects that reproduce rapidly and often attack plants.
  • Leafhoppers: Often found in gardens and agricultural fields, known for rapid movement.
  • Planthoppers: Named for their tendency to jump when disturbed, some species can fly.
  • Thrips: Minute insects found on flowers, leaves, and fruits, some with winged stages.
  • Booklice: Small insects found in damp environments, known for their rapid movements.
  • Silverfish: Wingless insects but can occasionally be found gliding or floating.
  • Jumping Bristletails: Primitive insects with elongated bodies, capable of hopping.
  • Earwigs: While primarily known for their pincers, some species can fly.
  • Pine Sawflies: Resemble wasps and are known for their saw-like ovipositor.
  • Caddisflies: Aquatic insects with larvae that build protective cases, adults can fly.


These animals exhibit a diverse array of flight adaptations, from true flight in birds and bats to gliding or parachuting capabilities in other species.

  • Albatrosses: Known for their impressive wingspan and long-distance flights.
  • Eagles: Large raptors with keen eyesight and powerful flight.
  • Hawks and Falcons: Agile predators known for their swift flight.
  • Hummingbirds: Smallest birds, capable of hovering and rapid wingbeats.
  • Owls: Nocturnal birds of prey known for silent flight.
  • Pelicans: Large birds with impressive gliding abilities.
  • Swallows and Swifts: Known for their agile, acrobatic flight.
  • Woodpeckers: Equipped with strong wings for short bursts of flight.
  • Bats: The only mammals capable of sustained flight.
  • Flying Fish: Capable of gliding above water using wing-like pectoral fins.
  • Flying Lemurs (Colugos): Glide between trees using a membrane stretched between limbs.
  • Flying Lizards: Use wing-like skin extensions to glide from tree to tree.
  • Flying Snakes: Extend their bodies to glide from branches, creating an S-shape in flight.
  • Flying Frogs: Use webbed feet to glide from trees.
  • Gliding Geckos: Certain gecko species can glide using skin flaps.
  • Flying Fish Gobies: Capable of short bursts of gliding over water.
  • Flying Squirrels of Southeast Asia: Known for gliding between trees.
  • Parachuting Spiders: Disperse by releasing silk threads to catch the wind.
  • Flying Spiders: Able to travel long distances using silk threads and wind currents.
  • Flying Dragons (Draco): Southeast Asian lizards capable of gliding.
  • Parachuting Ants: Certain ant species use wind currents for aerial movement.
  • Flying Fish Beetles: Use gliding to escape predators.
  • Parachuting Tarantulas: Disperse through ballooning using silk threads.
  • Flying Lemming: Known for leaping into the air to travel between snowdrifts.
  • Flying Squid: Use jet propulsion to briefly glide above water.
  • Flying Opossums: Native to Australia, glide between trees using a membrane.
  • Flying Fox (Bat): Large bats with wingspans of over a meter, known for long-distance flight.
  • Flying Mantas: Glide elegantly underwater using wing-like fins.
  • Flying Carpets: A species of rayfish that gracefully swims and appears to fly underwater.
  • Flying Dragonfish: Deep-sea fish capable of gliding in the ocean.
  • Flying Gurnards: Bottom-dwelling fish that can “fly” underwater.
  • Flying Frogfish: Skilled in controlled gliding within water.
  • Flying Squid: Briefly glide above water surface using jet propulsion.
  • Flying Foxes (Giant Squirrels): Large arboreal rodents capable of gliding.
  • Flying Siphonophores: Colony organisms that drift in the ocean’s currents.
  • Flying Sea Cucumbers: Use jet propulsion to move through the water.
  • Flying Snails: Release themselves into the wind using mucus threads.
  • Flying Squirrels: Use a membrane called a patagium to glide between trees.
  • Sugar Gliders: Small marsupials with a membrane that allows gliding.
  • Dragonsnakes: Aquatic reptiles capable of gliding from trees into water.
  • Flying Foxes: Large fruit bats known for their soaring flight.


These devices encompass a range of aerial machines used for diverse applications, excluding traditional modes of transportation like commercial planes or helicopters.

  • Aeroplanes: Various aircraft designed for controlled flight through the air.
  • Helicopters: Rotary-wing aircraft capable of vertical lift and movement.
  • Gliders/Sailplanes: Unpowered aircraft that glide through the air using natural air currents.
  • Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): Remote-controlled or autonomous aerial devices used for various purposes.
  • Kites: Aerodynamic tethered objects often used for recreational or scientific purposes.
  • Model Aircraft: Miniature replicas of larger aircraft, commonly used for recreation or testing.
  • Hang Gliders: Unpowered aircraft controlled by the pilot’s shifting body weight.
  • Paragliders: Light, free-flying gliders launched by foot and controlled by the pilot’s weight-shifting.
  • Rocket-Powered Aircraft: Aircraft propelled by rocket engines, often used for experimental or high-speed purposes.
  • Human-Powered Aircraft: Aircraft powered solely by human energy, used for record attempts or competitions.
  • Aerial Spraying Drones: Drones used for aerial application of substances like pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Weather Balloons: Helium-filled balloons equipped with instruments to collect meteorological data.
  • Aerostats (Tethered Balloons): Stationary balloons tethered to the ground used for various purposes like advertising or observation.
  • Autonomous Flying Devices (Airborne Robots): Flying devices capable of autonomous movement and operation.

Everyday Objects

These objects demonstrate a range of natural and human-made items that exhibit flight or gliding capabilities, from tiny seeds to remote-controlled aircraft.

  • Paper Airplanes: Folded paper models that glide when thrown.
  • Balloons (Helium or Hot Air): Inflated objects that ascend in the air when filled with helium or hot air.
  • Seeds: Various plant seeds like dandelion seeds or maple keys that use wind to disperse and travel.
  • Helicopter Seeds (Sycamore, Maple): Seeds with wing-like structures that aid in wind dispersion.
  • Frisbees: Circular discs designed for throwing and gliding through the air.
  • Flying Disc Toys: Battery-powered or hand-launched toys that fly.
  • Drones/UAVs: Remote-controlled or autonomous aerial devices used for various purposes.
  • Remote-Controlled Airplanes/Helicopters: Model aircraft controlled by radio signals.
  • Dandelion Seeds: Seeds dispersed by wind using feathery pappus structures.
  • Bubbles: Soap bubbles that float and fly with air currents.
  • Toy Airplanes/Helicopters: Small models designed for children to fly.

Modes of Transport

These modes of transport showcase a diverse range of flying vehicles used for transportation, exploration, and various specialized purposes.

  • Airplanes/Aircraft: Fixed-wing vehicles designed for controlled flight in the air.
  • Helicopters: Rotary-wing aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
  • Airships/Dirigibles: Lighter-than-air aircraft navigated through the air by engines and rudders.
  • Gyrocopters/Autogyros: Rotary-wing aircraft using unpowered rotors for lift.
  • VTOL Aircraft (Vertical Takeoff and Landing): Capable of taking off, hovering, and landing vertically.
  • Seaplanes/Flying Boats: Aircraft designed to take off and land on water.
  • Tiltrotor Aircraft: Hybrid aircraft with both vertical and horizontal flight capabilities.
  • Spacecraft/Rockets: Vehicles designed for space travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Supersonic Aircraft: Capable of flying faster than the speed of sound.
  • Light Aircraft/Ultralights: Small, lightweight, and often single-seater aircraft.
  • Hang Gliders/Paragliders: Unpowered gliders controlled by body movements.
  • Aerial Firefighting Aircraft: Modified planes used for aerial firefighting and water/chemical drops.
  • Air Ambulances: Aircraft equipped for medical emergencies and patient transport.
  • Commercial Air Travel (Passenger Planes): Scheduled flights for transporting passengers.
  • Military Aircraft: Various aircraft used for defense and military purposes.
  • Aerial Advertisements: Planes displaying banners or advertising materials.
  • Crop Dusters/Aerial Sprayers: Aircraft used for agricultural purposes.
  • Lighter-Than-Air Crafts: General term for aircraft that rely on buoyant gases for lift.
  • Recreational Flying: Private planes used for leisure or personal travel.


We hope this list of things that fly was useful and that you found what you needed!

We did our best to cover all of the varied meanings of “fly” with our visual gallery of flying things and descriptive list. But if you feel there’s something we missed, please feel free to let us know and leave a comment.

Thank you for visiting Thing Database!ʉϬ

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