Unusually for an Oldfield 12-inch at that time, the extended duration was achieved simply by a short introductory instrumental that bears no musical relation to the rest of the song and is separated from it by a short pause; the song itself is identical to the album and 7-inch versions. Prior to this, Oldfield had usually extended his songs for their 12-inch versions by incorporating an extra verse and/or instrumental section within the main body of the track.
"Flying Start" features Kevin Ayers on vocals. A different version of the song was also released on Kevin Ayers' album Falling Up in February 1988. The music video features various computer generated elements.