While flies can’t fly as high as birds or planes, they do fly quite high. In fact, some species are able to reach altitudes of six thousand feet. Flies have the ability to fly in temperatures over 50 degrees. If they find the temperature to be too cold, they will fold their wings and land at a lower elevation.
This behavior is attributed to their ability to sense their environment. They can adjust their flight to compensate for the rapidly expanding and moving world around them. Whether or not they are trying to reach an object is largely irrelevant. Their incredibly sensitive senses and strong instincts enable them to fly high.
Several factors determine the pitch rate of a fly. Higher forward velocities reduce pitch rate, while lower upward velocities increase leg-assisted swinging. These factors, however, do not explain why flies can perceive distance. In contrast, flies with lower pitch rates exhibit higher vertical flight.
The mechanism for flight is complicated, but flies are incredible aerialists. Their wings can hover vertically and even move backwards. They can also move backwards at very high speeds. Moreover, flies’ wings flap at a rate higher than their neurons can fire. This is because their wings work like a manual car transmission: they have a neutral gear and three drive gears. These gears control how high they fly and how powerful each wing stroke is.