Flying is fun. Full stop. Even if the thought of a trip to the airport gives you a headache, there’s something undeniably magical about taking off and watching the ground shrink below you. Plus, there’s a reason flight is the number one rated superpower—if we could soar through the sky we’d probably spend more time up there than on land. So if you’re itching to get airborne, then buckle your seatbelt, put your tray table up, and crank these tunes as you plan out your next trip skyward!
Blackalicious and Gil Scott-Heron with “First In Flight”
Everyone knows the Wright brothers are credited with inventing and flying the first plane, but they were over a century late on breaking the gravity barrier. On November 21st, 1783, a few hundred years after Leo da Vinci first doodled what would become the precursor to helicopters, a Frenchman named Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Belgian named Francois Laurent became the first people in a manned aircraft (a hot air balloon to be exact). They replaced the sheep, rooster, and duck used in the trial run.
Sugar Ray with “Fly”
You know we had to drop this one in for some classic SoCal sound. Sugar Ray formed just a hop skip and a jump from our stomping ground of San Diego (in Newport Beach), so when this comes on the radio it feels like home.
Tones and I with “Fly Away”
Tones and I’s first album, Welcome to the Madhouse (on which Fly Away is the lead single), debuted at number one on the ARIA Album Chart (the Aussie version of the Billboard charts). You could say her career is already flying high.*
*You could. Should is a different thing. Some people are more comfortable with terrible puns than others. Up to you.
Steve Miller Band with “Fly Like An Eagle”
Eagles are primarily soaring birds, which means they generally fly by either using rising currents of air to go higher or by using gravity and aerodynamic drag to descend. They employ the other two flight types (flapping and bounding) from time to time, but their large wings and brilliant reading of atmospheric conditions allow them to conserve considerable amounts of energy. Now that’s how you become an apex predator.
By the way, check out our moon landing themed The Eagle Has Landed Fort Knocks!
Lenny Kravitz with “Fly Away”
Flying into San Diego International Airport (née Lindbergh Field) is a unique experience. Aside from being the busiest single-runway airport in the world, it’s planted squarely in the middle of the downtown area, with incoming planes practically buzzing the nearby skyscrapers. Couple the proximity to buildings with a north-ish facing landing strip and you’ve got some serious sunset sightseeing potential. Pro-tip: on flights to SD, get a window seat on the port side of your plane for a view you won’t soon forget.
Taylor Swift with “Sparks Fly”
Take it from a crew that lives in a state that is unfortunately often affected by drought: when you’re asked not to light fires, DON’T LIGHT FIRES. We love kickin’ it with friends by a warm flame as much as the next person, but to quote www.fire.ca.gov, “one less spark could mean one less wildfire.” Be smart when you’re planning a campfire, check if your area has any current restrictions, and think about the greater good before you light up a few logs. That being said, if you’re good to go then have fun out there!
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with “Learning to Fly”
This song is often mistaken as a tune about drug use, but Tom Petty was actually inspired by a line he heard a pilot once say: “coming down is the hardest thing.” Realizing this applied to a lot more than flight (and still recovering from his house burning down), he and writing partner Jeff Lynne penned this perfect song about overcoming tragedy and adversity.
“I don't say that I can fly—I'm learning. Also, we're expected to do a lot of things that we're not necessarily equipped for. Everyone has tragedy in their life. You can lay down and let the tragedy overwhelm you, or you can fly above it, and I think that's sort of what I'm trying to say in that song." - Tom Petty
Rush with “Fly By Night”
You’d think with the lack of visibility that flying at night might be harder, and you’d be right. For pretty much every reason (other than less turbulence and calmer passengers), most pilots prefer flying during the day:
- It’s easier to see the runway.
- The views are better.
- There’s less reliance on avionics.
- Your sleep schedule isn’t thrown off.
- It’s easier to spot the weather.
- You’re less likely to be blinded by a laser pointer.
Sorry Rush, you might not have captured the “pilot market” with this one. Still a great track though.
Also, we’d call this a fun fact but we’re not sure you can do that when it’s this intuitive.
Nicki Minaj and Rihanna with “Fly”
We’ve done a number of Special Releases related to airplanes in the past, and they’ve always been a blast to design. From the recent Flying Tigers Torrey Pines release, to the infamous Danger Zone Premiums, and of course the original Flying Tigers Fort Knocks, whenever we take our shades to the skies you all seem to love them. Stay tuned for future releases!
Foo Fighters with “Learn to Fly”
It’s easier than you’d think to get your private pilot’s license, with classes generally taking around two months to complete. As long as you have at least 40 hours to dedicate specifically to flight time and about $10,000 to spare, you could be up in the air taking people around the world in less time than it takes to complete the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you’re looking for a cheaper, quicker route, you can become a sport pilot (for recreational purposes) for about half the time and cost!
Bonus: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov with “Flight of the Bumblebee”
Who knew rubbing some strings could so accurately mimic the sound of an incoming insect.
The coordination required to make this song work on any instrument is mind boggling, but when you can visualize the speed and range necessary to hit all the notes it somehow becomes even harder to comprehend.
Bonus Bonus Bonus:
Just get a load of these guys.