Aviation refers to flying using aircraft, machines designed by humans for atmospheric flight. More generally, the term also describes the activities, industries, and regulatory bodies associated with aircraft.
- Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr., "High Flight" (September 3, 1941); reported in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). Ronald Reagan quoted from the first and last lines in a televised address to the nation after the space shuttle Challenger exploded, January 28, 1986. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (February 3, 1986), p. 105.
- The saying ‘Getting there is half the fun’ became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines.
- “No airship will ever fly from New York to Paris. That seems to me to be impossible. What limits the flight is the motor. No known motor can run at the requisite speed for four days without stopping, and you can’t be sure of finding the proper winds for soaring. The airship will always be a special messenger, never a load-carrier. But the history of civilization has usually shown that every new invention has brought in its train new needs it can satisfy, and so what the airship will eventually be used for is probably what we can least predict at the present.”
- When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
- No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
- Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.
- The way I see it, you can either work for a living or you can fly airplanes. Me, I'd rather fly.
- Pilots are a rare kind of human. They leave the ordinary surface of the word, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.
- José Maria Velasco Ibarra, President of Ecuador.
- If God had intended us to fly, He would have given us wings.
- Anonymous proverb. Note that many humorous variations have been made from this, replacing the second half of the sentence with things such as, "He would have given us more money" or "He would have bought us the tickets" or in the quixotic commentery of Michael Flanders, "he would never have given us railways".
- If God had intended us to fly, he wouldn't have invented Spanish air traffic control.
- Dave Lister, Red Dwarf
- Any landing that you can walk away from is a good one!
- Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
- Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.
- Amelia Earhart 20 Hrs 40 Mins 1928.
- To invent an airplane is nothing. To build an airplane is something. But to fly ... is everything.
- I didn't crash the plane. I simply relocated the aircraft with extreme prejudice, after a complete loss of lift and thrust functions!
- H.M. "Howlin' Mad" Murdoc, The A-Team
- It's not the flying I have a problem with. It's smashing into the ground that I have a problem with.
- A good landing is any landing you can walk away from. A great landing is one where they can re-use the plane.
- First Officer Douglas Richardson, Cabin Pressure