Definition of fly-by in English:



  • 1A flight past a point, especially the close approach of a spacecraft to a planet or moon for observation.

    • ‘The spacecraft made a fly-by of Jupiter in order to pick up speed by getting a gravitational ‘kick’ from the planet.’
    • ‘In a risky fly-by maneuver, the Deep Space 1 spacecraft successfully navigated past a comet, giving researchers an unprecedented view inside the glowing core of icy dust and gas.’
    • ‘With each close fly-by of a planet, it receives an energy boost because of the planet's gravitational pull.’
    • ‘When Europe's comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta swings by Earth on 4 March 2005, it will perform the closest fly-by of our home planet ever conducted by ESA.’
    • ‘The fly-by spacecraft will observe the effects of the collision.’
    • ‘The puzzle is that this is about six minutes, or one percent, longer than the rotational period measured by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft during their fly-bys of the 1980s.’
    • ‘There were 44 close fly-by passes of Titan, 8 more of smaller moons, and between 50 and 100 more distant passes of these other moons.’
    • ‘Vims made its observations during the close fly-by of Phoebe by Cassini-Huygens on 11 June 2004.’
    • ‘Deep Space 1 made history during its close fly-by of Comet Borrelly in September 2001, when it returned the clearest images and best scientific data ever gathered about a comet.’
    • ‘Only one space probe has visited Mercury, Mariner 10, which made three fly-bys of the planet in 1974 and 1975.’
    • ‘The controllers instructed Flight 1101 to make a fly-by past the Piarco airport control tower so that they could visually confirm whether the landing gear was down or not.’
    • ‘This is the first of four planet fly-bys (three times with Earth, once with Mars) that Rosetta will carry out in its long journey to its target, Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko.’
    • ‘Having seen the data from the close fly-by in late October, we know almost even less than before.’
    • ‘During its close fly-bys of the ring system, instruments on Cassini have been able to determine that the environment around the rings is like an atmosphere, composed principally of molecular oxygen.’
    • ‘The two close fly-bys of Saturn's moon Enceladus by the NASA / ESA / ASI Cassini spacecraft have revealed that it has a significant atmosphere.’
    • ‘The payloads will comprise technical equipment to monitor the Moon during the fly-by, planned in three-four years.’
    • ‘In 1986, ESA's Giotto spacecraft performed the closest comet fly-by ever achieved by any spacecraft (at a distance of 600 kilometres from Halley).’
    • ‘Images collected during the Cassini-Huygens close fly-by of Saturn's moon Phoebe give strong evidence that the tiny moon may be rich in ice and covered by a thin layer of darker material.’
    • ‘We've got three close fly-bys later in the year.’
    • ‘The second half - the fly-by spacecraft - will maneuver out of harm's way and slow its speed so that at impact it will have a prime, but relatively safe, viewing position to the side and front of the comet.’
    go quickly, fly by, fly past, pass swiftly, slip past, rush past
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another term for fly-past
      • ‘In addition to solo and formation fly-bys, action will include acrobatic demonstrations, military re-enactments and both Air Force Heritage Flight and Navy Tailhook Legacy routines.’
      • ‘Viewing the fly-by from the staging area was Col. Randall G. Falcon, 482nd Fighter Wing commander.’
      • ‘However, the highlight each day was the ‘Airpower Display’ where we were able to put up 24 Warbirds (no trainers) for a spectacular fly-by.’
      • ‘Having flown directly from Basra, the C17 plane that brought them had performed a fly-by in front of the base's terminal before touching down.’
      • ‘Dale Snodgrass would thrill the spectators with his ultra-low Corsair aerobatics while numerous Warbird and Corsair fly-bys honored the men, women, and aircraft of the Second World War.’
      • ‘Calmly curious, they cruise right up to us before passing gently overhead, circling back for a series of fly-bys.’
      • ‘After the fly-by, the group recovered at Brown Field on the Mexican border for a reception and debriefing.’
      • ‘Since this was not a formal airshow, pilots took off and made fly-bys when they felt in the mood so a variety of aircraft were usually airborne.’
      • ‘After a beautiful fly-by at Monroe Airport and a silky smooth final touch and go at Barksdale, it was time to land and taxi back to the 93rd Bomb Squadron area.’
      • ‘The most important is how Duxford, at the end of each show, launches all the Warbirds for a massive fly-by to let spectators savor the sights and sounds of such a dramatic event.’
      • ‘The aircraft was taking part in an eleven Spitfire fly-by when smoke issued from the Merlin powerplant.’
      • ‘The flight to Fresno took 1.25 hours and when we got near the airport the photo work was over and everyone was once again in formation for a massed fly-by with landing lights on.’
      • ‘I could see hundreds of people on the deck and around the carrier and certainly hoped they enjoyed the fly-by.’
      • ‘One B - 25 broke down on start up and the crew reluctantly had to shut down while another B - 25 in the fly-by had a mechanical and had to land early.’
      • ‘When the B - 1 and B - 2 end their service, B - 52s will do the fly-by at their retirement ceremony.’
      • ‘At the 1999 Oshkosh show, a tragic accident marred the flying display when a ground collision occurred between aircraft taking off for fly-by display.’
      • ‘An AP - 3C Orion conducted two fly-bys, to the delight of the crowd of dignitaries, Service members and invited guests.’
      • ‘There was everything from WWI aircraft cavorting through the sky to the massed roar of the mighty Polikarpovs to the Breitlings to individual and massed Warbird fly-bys and aerobatics.’