Allows the user to ascend to great heights or traverse large gaps.
Flying (上昇飛行,Jōshō hikō?, lit. "Ascending Flight") is a special ability used in the Sonic the Hedgehog series that grants the user mid-air flight. The move is most commonly used by Miles "Tails" Prower, where it is considered his signature ability and also known as the Heli-Tails (ヘリテイル,Heli-Tail?) or Propeller Flying (プロペラ飛行,Puropera hikō?).
Flying allows the user to travel in the air to reach higher places or traverse large gaps. This is usually done by Tails by rotating his two signature tails as a helicopter rotor. Some users of Flying such as Rouge and Charmy can use their wings to archive Flying, while others such as Cream and Metal Sonic can use other certain limbs/abilities to use Flying.
The first game to allow a user to fly is Sonic Chaos. Also known as "Airman Tails" in the English manual, the player could achieve flight as Tails by pressing the D-pad up and pressing either buttons 1 or 2. The player can then move around in the air in four directions. The player will remain in the air for five seconds before Tails becomes tired and slowly descends.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Tails can fly by using a different method than the one used in Sonic Chaos. In the game, flying is achieved by pressing the jump button whilst using a Spin Jump. The player must continue to press the jump button in order to maintain ascension. The move can be used by the player to access areas that are otherwise unreachable. While playing as Sonic and Tails, the move can be used to carry Sonic the Hedgehog, allowing both players to reach secret areas. From then on, Flight is typically performed this way in all games it appears in, such as the Advance series, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.
In Knuckles' Chaotix, Charmy Bee has the ability to fly, marking the first time a character has used the flying ability other than Tails. Charmy's flying ability is performed very differently from Tails'; in order to fly as Charmy, the player must hold the D-pad in the direction they wish to fly and then press the C button to make Charmy dash in that direction. Unlike other flying abilities in the series, Charmy doesn't tire when flying and the ability can be used as relentlessly as the player wishes.
In Sonic Adventure, the move is performed by holding the jump button whilst using the Spin Jump as Tails. When using the move, the player gains a much greater ascension than in other games, allowing the player to reach high places rather quickly.
Sonic Adventure 2
In Sonic Adventure 2,Tails cannot use the flying move outside of a Chao Garden. He never tires, and, as such, the player may fly around their Chao Garden continuously.
Sonic Advance Series
In Sonic Advance 2, the new character Cream the Rabbit can fly alongside Tails. Unlike Tails, however, the player can cancel Cream's flying ability at any point by pressing the B button whilst flying. In this game and its sequel, Tails' ability is referred to as Propeller Flying, whilst Cream's ability is simply known as Flying.
In Sonic Advance 3, Tails and Cream retain their flying abilities and Tails can use different variations of Propeller Flying when partnered up with different characters. Tails can also carry other characters whilst flying when the player uses their Tag Action.
In Sonic Heroes, Flying can be performed by Fly Type characters. To achieve flight, the player has to press and hold the jump button whilst jumping. When performed, the player can only reach a certain height. Unlike most games, the duration of flight is determined by a flight gauge, which depletes only when the player moves, meaning that the player can stay in the same spot without the Fly Type character ever tiring. Player's can also press the jump button whilst flying to give the player a small boost that can damage and stun nearby enemies.
Swimming, or the Dog Paddle is a move performed by Tails whilst underwater. The move is performed in the exact manner as flying and allows Tails to ascend whilst underwater. Whilst performing the move in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Tails cannot carry Sonic whilst underwater and any attempt to do so will cause both characters to sink to the bottom.
Hover is an ability used by Charmy in Knuckles' Chaotix in conjunction with his flying ability. The ability can be used by Charmy whilst the player is airborne and is executed by holding the C button. Whilst hovering, the player can move Charmy around in eight directions and when the D-pad isn't pressed, the player will slowly descend to the ground. As with Charmy's flying ability, Charmy does not tire when hovering and the move can be used indefinitely.
High Propeller Flying
High Propeller Flying is a move used by Tails whilst partnered with Cream in Sonic Advance 3. Unlike Tails' conventional flying ability, the High Propeller Flying allows the player to reach greater heights, however, whilst performing the move, Tails will tire quicker.
Hammer Propeller Flying
Hammer Propeller Flying is a move used by Tails whilst partnered with Amy Rose in Sonic Advance 3. Hammer Propeller Flying functions exactly the same as standard Propeller Flying, except that the player can also use Tails' Piko Piko Hammer with flying.
The Tail Copter is Tails' signature move in Sonic Rivals 2. It is performed by pressing repeatedly; the move allows Tails to quickly ascend up vertical areas and can only be performed until the Signature Meter runs out.
As with all signature moves, this ability can also be performed by Metal Sonic with own signature move Copycat when racing against Tails.
The Copter Combo is the air Tag Action performed by Sonic and Tails in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. Like Tails' air Tag Action in Sonic Advance 3, Tails Carries Sonic around whilst flying. In contrast to the usual mechanics, Tails only tires out when the jump button is pressed repeatedly in quick succession, meaning if the player uses the jump button sparingly, Tails will not tire out. It should be noted that when Tails flies on his own, the game uses the standard mechanics as opposed this.