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Important Question: Big Argument!!!
I am on a family vacation and a large Superman argument started. None of us know all that much about Superman so you may see this question as basic, but I'd appreciate the help -- wagers are on the line here.

The question is:

What gives Superman the ability to fly? Is it solely a super power or does he need his costume and cape to fly? For example, could Clark Kent fly or does he need to change into a his costume with his cape?

Basically, could Superman fly without his cape?

I appreciate any insight you could provide.
LOL! Grin Yeah, he can fly without the cape.

The funny thing is, I use to think otherwise when I was kid. But I'm not entirely sure where this myth originated from.
There is no clear answer to this question. I believe about a year ago and do not think it was in the Look up In the Sky documentary they said in some versions of Supes it evolved from his super leaps, in its a result of the combined yellow rays of the sun and how Earths gravity react to his body, and so on. As for his cape I do not realy seeing it as helping him in flight. IIn times past I see his cape as a tool to help stow his Clark clothes some of the mythos had a pouch/pocket in the inside of it, a rescue tol, a thing to wrap people in when flying with him especially if he was flying uber fast, also a way in someways to keep his identity private . You are probably saying huh about that last one but look it like this unless it got ruined in a fight or a rescue his cape would probably be at least 50% the heigh of Super whatever and so even if it was for lack of a better just hanging natural it would be hard for anyone to get any clear images of the back part of. I am sure there are lots of other replies but hope this one gives you another aspect some might not consider/know of.
The cape is just part of the coustume.

Superman is just an outlet that allows Clark Kent to help people in secert.

His powers are the side affect of his cells absorbing the yellow sun's rays.

So to answer your question Superman is Superman with or without the coustume.
Thanks for the help. I win! I especially like the last post -- very conclusive.
But it does raise another question: what powers are exclusively from earth's gravity, and what powers are from the yellow sun? I remember years ago reading that Superman's strength (ability to lift and jump, etc.) was from earth's lighter gravity. However, if you all remember "The Longest Night", Superman lost all of his powers as the sun "died".
I don't think earth's lesser gravity etc. has anything do with Superman's powers. His powers now come from a yellow star 100%
Also about how Superman flies....

Clark has an invisible "aura" that coats his body. This invisible aura helps him to fly. Essentially he "wills" himself to fly through telekinisis. Some how his "aura" helps him to manipulate the gravity around him and he can fly. It also helps him to move when he is in outer space aswell where there is no gravity.

His kryptonian cells absorb solar energy and that's how his abilities emerged. When his ship crash landed on earth he was a helpless weak infant. Years of absorbing and storing yellow solar energy began to produce super human abilities. As he matured and continued to absorb yellow solar radiation, abilities began to emerge.

This "aura" also helps him with being invunerable. Clark being a kryptonian also has a very dense molecular structure, which helps with his invunerablity too.

It's different with an adult kryptonian, an adult kryptoian would automatically have super powers if he or she were suddenly in the presence of a yellow star. I believe puberty places a huge role in the developing powers. Similar to the t.v. series Smallville.

In other words say you take a kryptonian child and an adult kryptonian. Suddenly place them both in the presence of a yellow star. The kryptonian child would have to wait for he or she to mature to have acess to all the powers that an adult kryptonian would already have.

Also, say if another adult kryptonian were to arrive on earth, they would automatically gain super powers, yet be weaker than Superman.

Remember that Clark who is now 30-35 years old has been on earth for 30-35 years. Therefore Clark has been exposed to a yellow star longer and has more stored up solar energy, including his reserves.

The more yellow solar energy a kryptonian absorbs the more powerful they get.
I think its a combo of gravity and the yellow sun. When he was killed it was causes he reserves had been depleeted. Also back in the Krisis Krytponite styoryline when he had no powers he had Starman attempt to recharge him using yellow sun radiation and that did not work.
Oh man. I was just about to make a Flight thread when I saw this one!

I've been positing for some time now that Superman's flight could possibly be a result of a medium to higher level of telekinesis. Before you all start throwing stuff at me, hear me out: if gravity and molecular density were the only things working here, he would probably only be able to float, or simply jump great distances. The fact that Superman can control his flight - up, down, left, right, dodging and weaving - that means there has to be a more innate system at work that allows him to steer his own body. His Kryptonian genetic makeup, coupled with the powers he yields from the yellow sun, must grant him a medium level telekinesis that allows him to control his own body, but no more.

What do you guys think?
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