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Choosing the Right Flight
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Chia Moses

 
By Chia Moses
Published on December 17, 2008
 
Flights are those fins or wings, which we find at the back of a dart. These are made of different materials and are used to stabilize the dart during flight.

Flights are those fins or wings, which we find at the back of a dart. These are made of different materials and are used to stabilize the dart during flight.

Hard Flights

These are made of stiff polyester plastic and have a good shape. Heating the flight during its manufacturing permanently seals its layers. As the plastic used in making is hard, the layers don’t tear easily as they do in case of soft layers. The hard flights although do not flex like soft ones when hit, but they pop off the shaft when hit another dart. Hard flights at the beginning were made by clear plastic, but in the last few years, Melinex a kind of opaque plastic is used for making them.

Nylon Flights

These are made of ripstop nylon fabric and are considered to be most durable in the category of flights. The dart flights are very hard to tear and their stiffness varies as per their weight and the type of fabric that is used in making them. As ripstop nylon fabric is thick, it is essential to pre open all the slots on the shaft so that a properly loose fit is achieved without causing damage to the flight. You will get nylon flights in solid colors and various printed designs.

Dimplex, Ribtex and the similar styles are also hard flights, which are embossed with a texture. It is the ribbed surface that tends to stiffen the flights and is considered to be ideal by some darters. The flight has extra surface area, which makes the dart more stable in some cases. Embossed type of flights are little hard to insert into a metal shaft because of their increased thickness. Therefore, a dart tool or knife blade is gently spread to open the slots at the back of the shaft.

As all these flights tend to split at the back center, flight protectors are used to protect the area. These are small metal or plastic devices, which extend the life of a flight.

Soft Flights

These are made of flexible plastic sheet, which is preprinted with different designs and then folded into a specific shape. An adhesive is used to hold the layers of the plastic together. In case the flight gets torn during the game, the layers can be pressed together by fingers or using adhesive. One benefit of these flights is that they often flex out of the way if hit by another dart.