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Aeronautics (from Greek ὰήρ āēr which means "air" and ναυτική nautikē which means "navigation, seamanship", i.e. "navigation of the air") is the science involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of flight-capable machines, or the techniques of operating aircraft. While the term—literally meaning "sailing the air"—originally referred solely to the science of operating the aircraft, it has since been expanded to include technology, business and other aspects related to aircraft.


  • According to the theory of aerodynamics, as may be readily demonstrated through wind tunnel experiments, the bumblebee is unable to fly. This is because the size, weight and shape of his body in relation to the total wingspread make flying impossible. But the bumblebee, being ignorant of these scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway—and makes a little honey every day.
    • Sign in a General Motors Corporation plant, reported in Ralph L. Woods, The Businessman's Book of Quotations (1951), p. 249–50. Compare: "Antoine Magnan, a French zoologist, in 1934 made some very careful studies of bumblebee flight and came to the conclusion that bumblebees cannot fly at all! Fortunately, the bumblebees never heard this bit of news and so went on flying as usual". Ross E. Hutchins, Insects (1968), p. 68. Magnan's 1934 work was Le Vol des Insectes (vol. 1 of La Locomotion Chez les Animaux).
  • For I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
    Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
    Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
    Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
    Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
    From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 11.
  • Let brisker youths their active nerves prepare
    Fit their light silken wings and skim the buxom air.
  • He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
    • Psalms, XVIII. 10.
  • "Wal, I like flyin' well enough,"
    He said, "but the' ain't sich a thundern' sight
    O' fun in't when ye come to light."
  • Darius was clearly of the opinion
    That the air is also man's dominion
    And that with paddle or fin or pinion,
    We soon or late shall navigate
    The azure as now we sail the sea.
  • "The birds can fly, an' why can't I?
    Must we give in," says he with a grin,
    "That the bluebird an' phœbe are smarter 'n we be?"

See also

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