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Powers flight SOG.JPG
Nathan flies away, after his ability is revealed to Danko.
Originally held by: Nathan Petrelli (synthetic, deceased),
West Rosen,
Absorbed by: Peter Petrelli (lost),
Sylar (explosion future)
Ability to: Propel oneself through the air
Examples of flight

Flight (also referred to as "Human Flight Potential") is the ability to propel oneself through the air.





Nathan Petrelli

Although initially Nathan exhibited little control over his ability, his proficiency has noticeably increased over time, despite there being no evidence that he is actively working to improve his flying ability.

Judging from the effects seen in Hiros, Nathan can apparently fly at supersonic speeds. If this is true, a side-effect of his abilities may include some protection from extremes of temperature and atmospheric pressure as well as the ability to perceive his surroundings while flying at such speeds. This may also explain how he was able to survive Peter's nuclear explosion above New York City. (How to Stop an Exploding Man).

Initially, Nathan was unable to stay aloft while carrying Peter's weight, only stabilizing when Peter mimicked his ability (Genesis). Now, Nathan is able to carry the weight of others without assistance while flying -- he carried Peter (How to Stop an Exploding Man), (The Eclipse, Part 1) and Matt Parkman (Powerless). One interesting note is that Nathan seems to fly involuntarily in danger. For example, he unwillingly flew out of his crashing car before it hit (Six Months Ago) and also used flight to prevent falling into the ground after Danko shoved him through the window (Shades of Gray).

Nathan is also better at carrying people than West is: West could carry Claire easily, but had trouble with Noah, but Nathan has been able to carry Matt and Peter without trouble even carrying them as far as Haiti and Mexico with no problems while West had trouble carrying Noah a short distance.

Peter Petrelli

Peter has independently reproduced this ability and easily carried both Claude and Nathan, individually, with him while flying (Unexpected, Four Months Ago..., Dual). When Peter injected himself with the formula, he displayed this ability after replicating it from Nathan with his new power. This was the first ability Peter replicated and was the one he displayed and replicated most often.

Judging from the effects seen in Cold Wars, Peter can fly at supersonic speeds. Similarly, this might include the side effect of protection from temperature extremes and atmospheric pressure, as well as being able to perceive his surroundings.

Peter has been able to carry Claude, Nathan, Matt and Angela without trouble, even carrying Claude a short time after he got control over his ability to summon abilities and flew for the first time on purpose. He discarded it in favor of shape shifting and did not try to re-replicate it until Brother's Keeper where he replicated it from Sylar as Nathan in order to keep up with him if he tried to run, using it to follow Sylar as Nathan to his apartment, but later discarded it in favor of mental manipulation (The Fifth Stage).

He has since re-replicated it from West Rosen for an unknown reason, presumably as a way of remembering Nathan (Let It Bleed). This replication of flight is much more of the "floating" manifestation that West displays. He later discards this ability again in favor of precognitive dreaming. (Close to You) After leaving Matt's house, Peter replicates this ability again to fly to New York from Los Angeles, and uses it against Samuel Sullivan, tackling him off-stage while flying. This was his first offensive use of the ability. During the tackle, Peter replicates terrakinesis from Samuel, once again discarding flight. (Brave New World)

Future Sylar

In a possible future, Sylar has taken this ability. Like Nathan, he was shown to be able to fly at supersonic speeds. (Five Years Gone)

West Rosen

West can carry Claire in flight for extended periods of time. However, carrying Noah, who is heavier than Claire, high into the air exhausted him after a few minutes. (Cautionary Tales) He has apparently gotten better at this as he was able to fly Noah to a cave that took Alex an hour to get to and didn't seem to have any trouble. (Scenic Route) It should be noted, however, that Claire wished to be carried and held on while Noah did not. West's excuse for his exhaustion was that he didn't have super strength and was losing his grip rather than trouble flying.

He can apparently fly to altitudes of 30,000 feet or more for at least short periods without serious discomfort. He can also merely hover above the ground instead of actually flying. Like Nathan, he appears to be able to use supersonic flight. (Rebellion, Part 3) He appears to have practiced extensively at using his ability. (Flying Blind)


Angie has demonstrated this ability using it to escape government agents.


Aiden has demonstrated that he is able to hover over the ground. To do so, he must concentrate all his energy, then relax. He has shown that he can float three feet off the ground, and can move around while floating.


Sylar empathically stole this ability from Nathan before killing him. After flinging Nathan through a hotel room window, Sylar flew himself down to the balcony. A couple of months later after Sylar turned back into Nathan, he accessed this ability and flew to Peter's apartment.

Later, as Sylar, he uses the ability to fly to the carnival and then later hover outside of Claire's dorm room and watch her. Sylar presumably uses this power to get from Matt's house in Los Angeles to the Carnival in Central Park, where at some point Peter replicated this power from him again.

Selected Examples

Memorable Quotes

"This morning, when I got out of bed, my foot hovered before it hit the ground, hovered for a split second. Like I was like I was floating. I'm telling you, I think I can fly."

- Peter (to Nathan) (Genesis)

"Flying man. Oh ... you fly. I see you. Whhshh!"

- Hiro (to Nathan) (Hiros)

"Hey, you know what? I'm just gonna fly off the terrace, yeah? No? Hey, I can fly, Nathan. So can you."

- Peter (to Nathan) (Nothing to Hide)

"You can skydive without a parachute!"

"You can skydive without a plane!"

- West, Claire (The Kindness of Strangers)

"You flew! That wasn't me! That was you!"

- Nathan (to Peter) (Dual)


  • The Genesis files contains a folder labeled "Human flight potential".
  • According to the episode commentary for The Kindness of Strangers, West's flight is supposed to have a "more lyrical, Peter Pan quality" than Nathan's.
  • In an interview, Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite state that if West and Nathan had a race around the world, Nathan would win because he has the age and experience.
  • During the Super Bowl XLIII commercials, several evolved humans are shown playing a football game with famous NFL players. Nathan and Peter both use their abilities to fly, and John Elway is revealed to be an evolved human with the ability of flight.
  • Sylar hovered on the balcony of the Stanton Hotel. It was unclear whether this was an advanced form of telekinesis or if he absorbed flight; later, as Nathan Petrelli, he quickly flew into the air at a speed similar to what Nathan displayed, confirming that he had indeed absorbed the ability.
  • This is Peter's most commonly replicated ability, having replicated it six times so far: three times from Nathan, twice from Sylar and once from West Rosen.
  • Besides being Peter's most commonly replicated ability, this is also the one he has kept for the most amount of episodes.
  • Arthur Petrelli stole his son Peter's abilities, saying, "I have [your powers] now." It is presumed that Arthur stole all of Peter's abilities, including flight. However, it is possible that Arthur did not steal all of Peter's abilities. Since Arthur never used this ability, there is no conclusive evidence that he actually stole this ability.
  • In the exposed future where people were granted abilities by the formula, this is shown to be one of the abilities granted and is also shown to be a common one.

See Also

Evolved Human Abilities edit

Ability absorptionAbility replicationActivation and deactivationAdoptive muscle memoryAlchemyAlejandro's abilityBody insertionClairsentienceClairvoyanceCloakingCloningDisintegrationDream manipulationElectric manipulationElectronic communicationEmpathic mimicryEmpathyEnhanced hearingEnhanced memoryEnhanced strengthEnhanced synesthesiaFire breathingFlightFreezingGravitational manipulationHealingHealing touchHeat generationIllusionImpenetrable skinInduced radioactivityIntuitive aptitudeInvisibilityLie detectionMagnetismMeltingMemory manipulationMental manipulationMetal mimicryMicrowave emissionMohinder's abilityPersuasionPhasingPlant growthPoison emissionPrecognitionPrecognitive dreamingPuppet masterPyrokinesisRapid cell regenerationSedationSeismic burstShape shiftingShatteringSound manipulationSpace-time manipulationSpontaneous combustionSuper speedSuperchargingTechnopathyTelekinesisTelepathyTerrakinesisUnderwater breathingWeather control

Evolutions Abilities

Accelerated probabilityAcidic bloodAge transferalAnimal controlBelief inductionCarbon isolation and formationConstrictionDanger sensingDavid's abilityDimension hoppingDimensional storageEmpathic manipulationEnhanced teleportingExtraskeletal manipulationHealth optimizingInflammationLight absorptionNerve manipulationNon-biological duplicationPhoenix mimicryPrimal rageShiftingSize alterationTeleportationTemporal rewindWater generationWater mimicry

Graphic Novel Abilities

Ability augmentationAcid secretionAge shiftingAppearance alterationAura absorptionBliss and horrorBone spike protrusionChlorine gas exudationCrumplingDehydrationDisintegration touchElasticityElectrical absorptionEnergy absorption, transference, and redirectionForcefieldsFuture terrorist's abilityGold mimicryGranulationGreen energy blastImprintingLaser emissionLevitationLuminescenceLung adaptationMass manipulationMediumshipNerve gas emissionNeurocognitive deficitOil secretionOmnilingualismPlant manipulationSound absorptionSpider mimicryTelescopic visionWall crawling

See Also: Ability developmentAbility extensionAbility heredityAbility immunityAbility lossAbility theftBrain examinationBrain penetrationExamples of simultaneous ability useEye alterationList of abilitiesList of abilities with multiple usersParadoxProphecyRiftExamples of flight