How to Catch Flies: A Tutorial
The key to any successful
FlyPower project is the ability to secure a proper "engine". In this case, a
One of the beautiful things about FlyPowered aircraft is that we
have an almost inexhaustible supply of the little critters, the trick is to
find them and handle them with the tenderness and respect that is befitting any
sophisticated piece of machinery.
For those of you who have dogs,
finding flies should be no problem, and if you live on a horse farm, you may
want to consider going into the business of being an Official Fly Engine Resource Center. Contact FlyPower
for more details on how to become an authorized reseller of Fly
In any case, Flies will usually congregate near garbage cans,
compost heaps and other similar locations. Most people encounter the little
creeps in their homes, buzzing around windows and the like.
If none of
these places fit into your life-style, build yourself a little Fly Trap. This
can best be accomplished by using a small plastic bag (clear) and placing a
small piece of fish or other animal part into the bag. Set the bag up with a 2"
section from a toilet paper roll taped around the bag opening to allow the fly
Place the bag in a sunny location near an open window if
possible. Check the bag often. If this isn't working, try sprinkling a small
amount of sugar on the fish or whatever other bait you are using.
Tip from a viewer: Dave
Whyte of Australia wrote-- "Did you know that Mr. Joe Average Housefly jumps
up and backwards on take-off, so when you want to catch him, it pays to grasp
him from behind in a swift cupping action of the hand, he generally jumps
straight into your palm." Dave is absolutely correct although we
have found that this method does require a bit of practice, and failed attempts
do tend to be on the "messy" side.
Several readers and even a few
scholars have proposed the judicious use of cryogenics to make the flies easier to handle. Basically this
involves putting your "engine" in the freezer for a very short period of time (
20 to 60 seconds) to get the little fellows to chill out. This will facilitate
ease of handling. Our experience has been that this is an acquired talent and
should be used only by experienced pilots. Also, recently thawed engines often
do not generate sufficient power or hold up to the rigors of flight as well as
fresh ones. But hell, try it out.
One other note: Be Careful in your
handling of the fly. They are precision instruments and as such are delicate.
The Instructions enclosed in your FlyPower Kit has some helpful hints as to
precautions and procedures in handling your "engine". Also make sure to read
the FlyPower Engine Maintenance Tips for
Option: Some of our friends from Trout Unlimited mentioned the great
success they have had with their Catch and Release
policy. We wholeheartedly endorse this. If it works for fish it has to
work with flies.
When you have finished using your plane, and assuming
you haven't had any type of aerial combat, take a small pair of scissors and
snip off the engine mount as close to the body as possible. It won't make a
damn bit of difference to the fly, but you may feel better.