Does Superman fly in Man of Steel
Tactile-telekinesis has been used as an explanation but I believe there is a separate explanation in DC for his abilities. Tactile-telekinesis is just a simplified explanation for what is actually going on.
Source of powers: Kyrptonian BiomatrixThe source of Superman's powers is according to cannon his unique biomatrix force field and reclamation aura. His body is able to absorb the electromagnetic energy of a sun and store that energy in his body. He can then expel that energy. This directly confers most of his super powers.
This bioelectric field is so strong that it acts as a sort of force field giving him invulnerability.
When he lifts massive objects he does this without destroying them by extending his biomatrix out over the object. This is why he doesn't tear pieces off cars when picking them up by the bumper and why he can lift the Great Pyramids without them falling apart.
FlightIf we take this biomatrix idea further and accept that it is in fact powered by electromagnetic fields then there is a means to explain his flight that almost fits within physics. Big almost here but it is pretty close.
If he can extend his bioelectric matrix to objects then it is possible that he is able to do this to the air too. In this case his flight might be a factor of polarizing the air to give it a magnetic field opposite of his own and then he is pushing off of it. This would use well known theories of magnetic repulsion and Lorentz forces. Also his bioelectric field may be shaped in such a way to make him more aerodynamic like a missile. In the picture above is an illustration of his invisible magnetic fields at work.
When he uses his hands in front of himself he is literally steering the magnetic fields. His control over his bioelectric field is so great that he can restrict its effects so that he doesn't effect anything but a thin layer of air around him. By cycling these fields from head to toe he could generate a great deal of repulsive thrust. As we already know his total power in strength alone is easily millions of megatons of force so he should have enough power to accomplish this.
SpaceflightDC Presents #29 January 1, 1981>
In space there is very little material to use to push off of so he must be doing something different. He could push off or attract himself to a large planetary body's magnetic fields but that won't get him far. We do see something in the comics that gives me an idea.
Especially in the older comics when he was flying very fast in space we often saw lines behind him. These were likely a stylistic choice to show the path of his movement but what if it was more? Perhaps in space he is using his already powerful bioelectric field to emit an Ion beam behind himself. This would give him excellent thrust and maneuverability in space.
Superluminal Flight (faster than light)If we take everything else and roll it all together we might also have an answer for how Superman travels from star to star at speeds faster than light. First he has the aforementioned Ion thrust then he adds to that. It might be possible that Superman is creating a magnetic monopole using his bioelectric field and then creating a flux of energy in front of him and absorbing energy behind him. He might even be able to manipulate gravitons at this high of an energy level. This would have the effect of warping space around Superman and allowing faster than light travel.. Officially it is attributed to him warping space in the comics.
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