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Physics students say Batman's cape needs work
4 students from the University of Leicester prove that Batman's flying — while possible — is not practical with his cape's current dimensions.
Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Photo: Batman Arkham City video game
Despite being immersed in the world of superheroes and larger-than-life characters, director Christopher Nolan always likes to inject a good amount of grounded reality into his "Batman" films. It's one reason why you have a Batmobile that not only works, but also appears as something a military tech firm might actually build. And then there's Batman's suit, which is a much more versatile and wieldy piece of armor compared to earlier versions.
But when it comes to Batman's cape — which can transform into a glider when an electric charge is applied — some physics students from the University of Leicester argue that the Dark Knight needs to make some improvements — or face going "Splat!" on the pavement.
In a new paper titled "Trajectory of a Falling Bat," the students argue that to achieve a safe landing, Batman is going to need a bigger cape.
"We found he could fly quite well and he can actually fly pretty far," one of paper's authors David Marshall told the BBC. "He can get about twice as far as he does fall, but once he gets there, he is traveling about 50 mph and that's a bit too fast to land safely."
He added: "He would likely end up getting a bit splattered."
The students recommend that Bruce Wayne make some modifications to better increase his chances of survival, including extending the wingspan of the cape and/or adding a parachute option. There's also a more conspicuous option: "If he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for using active propulsion, such as jets to keep himself aloft," said Marshall.
Perhaps Iron Man could lend a hand?
Check out the latest trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises," which glides into theaters on July 20, below:
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