Flight (舞空術 Bukūjutsu, lit. "Dancing Sky Art") is one of the most commonly used techniques in the Dragon Ball series, allowing its users to perform techniques that would normally be very impractical or downright impossible without it.
The user manipulates their ki energy so that they can levitate or fly.
It is stated in the first Dragon Ball anime series that Sky Dancing is a technique unique to the Crane School and that Master Shen is the one who created it on Earth. Flight is first seen in Dragon Ball during the first appearance of Puar, and it was named during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, when Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu are seen flying (with Master Roshi calling it "overrated"). Very soon, all the other Z Fighters (apart from Yajirobe and Master Roshi) learned the technique. Goku likely learned how to fly from either observing Tien or from Kami, during his long training at The Lookout, as he was unable to do so before demonstrating his ability when he concludes his World Martial Arts Tournament match with Piccolo.
In the original Japanese dub of episode 3 of Dragon Ball Z, "Unlikely Alliance", when Goku asks if Piccolo can keep up with the Flying Nimbus, the Namekian replies that his own flying technique is significantly different and superior than the flight technique used by the Dragon Team, allowing him to fly faster than the Nimbus.
During the Great Saiyaman Saga, Gohan teaches Goten and Videl how to fly, and he further explains that anyone with sufficient power and the proper training can learn the ability. In the anime, during the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, Mr. Satan attempts to teach himself the technique, but he fails miserably. In addition, Trunks tells Vegeta that Goten cannot fly when explaining whether he or the latter is most likely to win the Junior division.
The way Gohan describes the secret to fly, one would assume that the flyer is putting their ki underneath them, forcing it down similar to an engine or helicopter pushing air down to rise from the ground.
In Dragon Ball Super, Pan is shown to be capable of flying as a baby without any training.
Video Game Appearances
Flight is a common ability in most Dragon Ball Z video games, though in some cases the ability to use it may be limited or only available under certain conditions or exclusive to certain characters. In some cases, likely due to gameplay mechanics, there were a few characters who are demonstrated to use flight despite not actually being capable of doing so within the manga or anime (e.g., General Blue).
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Flight is a yellow Potara-item that allows characters who cannot fly normally to be able to do so; like Kid Goku, Chi-Chi, Nam, Grandpa Gohan, Android 8, General Blue, Arale Norimaki, Master Roshi, Mr. Satan, and Yajirobe.
"The ability to use Flight in Conton City means you're no longer an apprentice. Fly responsibly."
— Chronoa after awarding the Future Warrior their Flying License
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the Future Warrior can fly around Conton City, however it is illegal to fly in Conton City without a license. As the skill is common among members of the Time Patrol, presumably this law was enacted to prevent accidents and make sure Time Patrollers have a good understanding of how to fly safely, especially in high traffic areas like Conton City, thus it is reserved for Time Patroller elites. Chronoa even gives the Future Warrior a warning after she notices them flying recklessly in Conton City without a license. After defeating Frieza and Cooler on Dying Namek, Chronoa gives the Future Warrior a Flying License in recognition of their status as an Elite Time Patroller for beating Cooler and Frieza. The Flying License only permits one to fly within Conton City, flying in the Time Nest and other large rifts in time remains off limits. Flight allows the Future Warrior to reach more out of the way areas of Conton City and places normally only accessible through the use of the city's fast travel teleportation system. Instructors are apparently allowed to fly with no issue though it is unknown if they have been issued flying licenses or are simply exempt.
"Cell is but one of many fighters in the story to use the Solar Flare technique. It was originally developed by the Crane School, but Goku, Krillin, and many others were able to learn it through imitation. The flight technique used by practically all major characters is also a Crane School skill."
— Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot "Cell Saga Episode 5" Z Encyclopedia Story Notes
In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Flight is a form of aerial movement used by several characters. The controls are similar to that of the Flying Nimbus, but with move freedom of movement. While normal Flight doesn't consume Ki, Boost Flight does though it allows the user to fly faster and they can also Boost Upward to ascend rapidly and Boost Downward to descend rapidly, and Boost Turnaround allows the user fly backwards while using Boost Flight, though its a little tricky, but allows the user to change direction at sharp angles, perfect for flying through areas with many obstacles. Boost Flight can also destroy certain objects in the user's path. The user can also Brake while Boosting to come to a complete stop. Finally the user can also perform the Triple Roll barrel roll maneuver that can be performed three times in a row which is perfect for collecting items from a greater distance and moving at high speed without consuming Ki. Save for the Flying Nimbus (which can only be summoned by certain characters such as Goku), the user is unable to release vehicles from their capsules such as Hovercars, Bipedal Robo Walkers, and Tao Pai Pai's Pillar while flying forcing them to land in order to deploy them. An item known as Z Orbs can often be found floating in the air in various patterns which can be collected by flying near them or performing a Triple Roll (usually when flying in the middle of a group of Z Orbs in a circle). Users can also use Flight to travel along special wind tunnels called Airways Traveling through airways is a great way to collect Z Orbs. They can be entered by touchinh either the entrance or any point of the wind tunnel. Once in, the user will automatically be carried through it by the wind making airways a useful and efficient way to travel around areas as enemies can't detect them while doing so. However the user will exit the airway if they use Boosted Flight, though they can't enter a airway while boosting. Golden airways (those represented by on the map by a golden arrow as normal airways are represented by green arrow) have rare items that appear inside them in addition to Z Orbs. The Z Encyclopedia Story Notes for "Cell Saga Episode 5" reference Flight as a technique used by practically every major character and as Crane School skill which it compares to the Solar Flare another Crane School technique originally used by Tien before being learned by other characters such as Krillin through imitation.
- 舞 (Bu) = Hover / Dance / Fly
- 空 (Kū) = Sky / Air
- 術 (Jutsu) = Art