One of the first things any boy does with a piece of bent bamboo, a string and an 'arrow' - which is usually another piece of bamboo, thinner than the first and, with a bit of selection, straighter - is to see how far he can shoot it. This is Flight Archery in its simplest form. Flight is the only discipline in Archery which doesn't involve a target - or it has the biggest target, the Earth, depending on how you look at it. The dedicated Flight bow is built to shoot an arrow as far as possible The Flight bow is refined to its ultimate; stressed to its limit; strings with as few strands as possible for lightness; arrows lovingly and painstakingly hand-made for aerodynamic perfection. In Flight Archery tuning and technique are all-important.
Modern rules have flight archers shooting in various classes and weights. Generally they shoot six arrows at each "end" and then search for all of them. Only four ends are usual in one shoot (as per UK rules – in the US only one end is permitted). At the end of the shoot, archers stay by or mark their furthest arrows while judges and their assistants measure the distances achieved.
Flight archery relies on the finest in performance equipment, optimized for the single purpose of greater range, using various types of bows (some unusual such as foot bows). The search for better flight archery equipment has led to many developments in archery equipment in general, such as the development of carbon arrows. Flight archery arrows are highly specialized. They are very short so that the point of the arrow is inside the arc of the fully drawn bow, requiring a support projecting back from the bow towards the archer to keep the arrow in position, or the use of a 'siper'(Turkish) on the bow hand/wrist on which to rest the arrow. Also, the shafts are 'barrelled', tapering towards both ends from the middle, to reduce both weight and air resistance.