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Science Explains Why You Don’t Want the Power of Flight

If I had to guess, the ability to fly is probably the most desired superpower. And look, flying around like Superman would be pretty awesome. You could see the world from a whole new perspective. You could turn your morning commute into an adventure. And airlines? Never again. But this is what pop culture says you’d be able to do. If we think about the potential advantages and drawbacks of flight scientifically, I’m not sure you’d want it.

First, I want to be very clear about what I mean about the power of flight; a power like this has more interpretations than a power like super strength. The kind of flight we will be evaluating here is the kind I think is the most common: a pretty epic ability that allows an individual like Superman or Neo to move above the ground at high velocity and high altitude. And like Superman, we’re going to assume that in this kind of flight, you can just go. If we start calculating onboard fuel requirements for some kind of weird thrust, this analysis isn’t going to get off the ground. I am going to argue that though this interpretation of flight sounds awesome, it would be an absolute hassle. So much so that regular airborne transportation might be preferable.

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