Tutorials/Flying technologies

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Flying technologies are technologies that make the use of elytra, commands, slime blocks, or other sources to move a player, entity or structure in the air, liquids, or solid blocks.

Using slime blocks[edit]

The slime block based flying technologies use clever placement of pistons, blocks of redstone and slime blocks to make an engine, which will move the structure. This is another way of legitimate flying in Survival mode, other than using elytra. The two main components of slime block flying machines are the engine and the splitter.

These technologies use the fact that slime blocks will move adjacent movable blocks, including other slime blocks, when pushed or pulled.


A simple flying engine. The central piston is the only sticky piston used in this configuration.

Engines are mechanical parts of slime-block based flying machines used to move them.

Engines divide into semi- and fully-automatic. The semi-automatic engines need player's intervention to move it, generally updating a piston (like using flint and steel on it or rapidly placing tripwire against it).

The fully-automatic engines are capable of automating the above issue, like by a piston next to it that extends and pushes the moved construction. However, to stop such an engine, something must be in the way so that it can no longer move, this may be in the form of a mechanism in the machine or some other immovable obstacle

Engines can also differ in available directions and speed. Some can only move in a single direction. They are the most simple and most common engines.

More rarely, engines can move in multiple directions. They have multiple piston mechanisms, each for movement into a separate direction. The only thing the player needs is just to re-arrange some blocks (usually blocks of redstone), which can be automated more easily. There are some engines which do not need to add or destroy blocks, but rather update multiple pistons, like this one.

There are also engines that move in two directions at once, like this one.

Also, engines have different speeds, with smaller engines usually being faster, with the exception of turbo-charged engines (like the one below), which are usually medium in size and can move twice as fast as a regular engine.

In the schematics, X-marked blocks must be placed after any others, and E-marked pistons must be updated afterwards.

2-way flying machine[edit]

a 2-way flying machine go in both directions that uses observers. Unlike other observer flying machine, this design continues to work in 1.13.1 and have backward and cross-platform compatibility.

how to make a 2-way flying machine[edit]
horizontal 2-way flying machine[edit]

vertical 2-way flying machine (elevator)[edit]

a vertical 2-way flying machine or an elevator can take the player vertically.

generation 1[edit]
generation 2 (multiplayer-safe)[edit]

the generation 2 elevator generates nearly no lags.

Server safe engines[edit]

Often due to the lag on multiplayer servers, slime engines can bug allowing the player to fall through the flyer. This can be solved by isolating the passenger from the engine with two additional slime blocks as seen here.

Best performance engines[edit]

Slime-block engine A. Breaking the sign starts the engine.

Engine A is a high-speed single-direction engine. It fits into 2×2×6 dimensions and uses 14 blocks.

Note: This does not seem to work in 1.13.

Note: This seems to work in 1.13.1.

Slime-block engine A layer 2
Slime-block engine A layer 1

Using observers[edit]

By using observers, you can construct a highly compact machine. Note: this no longer functions in version 1.12.2

Top layer
Bottom layer

To deactivate, remove the block of redstone.

WARNING: If used in 1.14 for Bedrock, while dumping water over it (if you are curious enough) there is a possibility that it will create an infinite water trail behind it. It will completely break your world. Also, the observer must be placed upside down. Think before you do it.

MCPE Engines[edit]

In version 0.15 of Minecraft Pocket Edition, the pistons were added. The quasi-connectivity have not been implemented so the developers have added a new block named Observer (which is in fact a Block Update Detector).

Therefore, flying machines PE are different (since there is no quasi-connectivity). One can use the observer flying machine mentioned above to achieve flight in Minecraft PE.


A 1-wide splitter. The piston will be powered by quasi-connectivity.
An example of how splitters can be used to create more complex structures such as this train.

Splitters are mechanical parts of a flying machine used to push an independent part of a large flying structure. A single piston only can push or pull up to 12 blocks. Splitters split a structure into multiple independent push-able parts (hence the name). A splitter itself has 2 parts (a normal piston in the rear, and a slime block (or more) with a power source in the front) with space between them.

Once the rear part with the piston is pushed, the piston will be activated by a power source from the front part. It will push the slime block (and thus the next part of flying contraption and its splitters), which pulls the power source with it. The piston will then deactivate and prepare for another push.

Some simple engines are just made of looped splitters, such that, at any given time one piston is always powered (in these machines it is important to place the redstone blocks last).

Using commands[edit]

Note: This section contains circuits built from command blocks which cannot be obtained legitimately in Survival mode. These circuits are intended for server ops and custom map builds.

Commands can also be used for flying entities or structures. Most flying machines using commands involve command blocks, so that when a player turns on an input, it goes to the output, the command block, and activates it. Unlike slime block based technologies, however, they cannot be legitimately made in survival (command blocks require setup by an operator in creative mode).

Using /tp[edit]

The earliest way of this type of flying is done using the /tp command to teleport entities into a specific direction by a small distance repeatedly, to exhibit a smooth flying. For the players, the movement can be controlled by various means, like holding a specific hotbar slot.

Using /setblock[edit]

Minecarts with command blocks and /setblock can be used to create a moving structure.

This method became obsolete with the introduction of /clone command.

Using /clone[edit]

With the introduction of /clone command, it is possible to more easily move structures by cloning it and optionally teleporting all entities on it with /tp. It can be accomplished by cloning a structure relative to an entity (using /execute), which in turn can be controlled by other means.

Using /summon[edit]

By using /summon, it is possible to lift an entity by using explosions (somewhat similar to real-life rockets). This is done by spawning instantly detonating creepers or TNT relative to that entity. However, it has several disadvantages, including:

  • It is more noisy and laggy than most other types of flying.
  • This method is destructive to the terrain and entities, and it can damage the entity. However, this can be partially solved by the entity having a damage protection in form of armor (such as Protection or Blast Protection) or status effects.

Using entitydata[edit]

By using /entitydata, it is possible to change the velocities applied to an entity that a player can ride, like a minecart or boat.

Using Elytra[edit]

Currently, the only way to fly in survival mode without cheating or using blocks is by using an elytra (or the riptide enchantment in 1.13). By obtaining an elytra, the player can glide to their destination provided they take off from a high altitude with the elytra in their chestplate slot. Punch II bow or hitting the use item button with a firework rocket can be used to extend the flight. A pair of elytra can be found in end ships.


Java Edition
1.4.2 12w32a Added command blocks, which can run commands, including the /tp command.
1.7.2 13w37a Added /setblock command, which can place blocks, albeit not yet useful for flying contraptions.
13w39a Added minecarts with command blocks. They can run the /setblock command, to rebuild a structure on the fly.
1.8 14w02a Added the @e selector, to target entities. They can be suspended in the air by rapid running of /tp.
14w03a Added the /clone command, which can clone structures.
The target selectors can now target players or entities in a 3D area.
14w07a Added the /execute command, which can run other commands relative to an entity, including rebuilding structures or propelling that entity with explosions.
14w18a The first flying technology available in Survival mode was made, employing slime blocks which can now move blocks being moved by pistons.
14w20a /clone now has an option to move the structure (clone it and remove the original).
14w26a Added /entitydata, which can change entities' velocity.
1.9 15w41a Added Elytra


Using slime blocks[edit]

See also[edit]