Reaching back into the depths of scientific history, we have been working with fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) since the early 1900s. We've all read about the exploits of Thomas Hunt Morgan and the white eyed flies in our basic biology textbook during our formative undergraduate years. Drosophila has proven itself through the following century of research to be an invaluable model organism to study genetics and development. Over the years of research a mountain of mutants have been made and phenotypes observed, thus necessitating the need for a storage repository for this wealth of knowledge.
If memory and records serve correct the genesis of Flybase was in 1992 by Dan Lindsley, a researcher at UCSD, who at that time was sort of a curator for all things Drosophila. Prior to Flybase Lindsley's Genome of Drosophila melanogaster was the holy gospel of all fruit fly researchers. Lindsley a septuagenarian at the time said to hell with keeping track of all of this, and the Flybase consortium was formed and led by Bill Gelbert at Harvard. What made Flybase was so remarkable is that you had to think back at the time, the database was taking off at the same time as the internet was.
So check out Flybase to search for information on different mutants, gene ontology, GWAS, all 12 sequenced Drosophila genomes, etc.