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Flying machines are mechanisms that use slime blocks and/or honey blocks, movable power sources and pistons to move a player, entity or structure in the air, liquids, or solid blocks. Part 1 of this tutorial discusses this mechanism as it works in Java Edition. For Bedrock Edition designs use the contents bar.
1 Piston flying machines 1.1 Engines 1.2 Splitters 1.4 Drivable flying machines 2 Bedrock engine designs 4 Gallery
The slime block based flying technologies use the clever placement of pistons, blocks of redstone, observers, slime blocks and honey blocks to make an engine, which will move the structure. This is another way of controlled flight in Survival mode, other than using an elytra. The two main components of slime block flying machines are the engine and the splitter.
Infinitely expandable flying machine with a 2-way engine and multiple splitters (each carrying 2 TNT Duplicators).
These technologies use the fact that slime blocks will move adjacent movable blocks, including other slime blocks, when pushed or pulled. Honey blocks can also be used to bypass the piston push limit by using adjacent slime block and honey block flying machines to divide the number of blocks in a structure among pistons.
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 moving 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.
Multi-directional engines More rarely, engines can move in multiple directions. They have multiple piston mechanisms, each for movement into a separate direction. Such engines are often large and complex and require stations to reliably switch directions.