The feasibility of Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise has already taken some light hits here at PopSci, but a study from physics students at the University of Leiceister is trying to put another nail in the caped crusader's coffin, saying Bruce Wayne would hit the ground fatally if he were to glide the way he does in Batman Begins.
Overall, depending on your standards, Batman seems to do pretty well in a reality check. The "memory cloth" cape that becomes rigid as a current passes through it was deemed a possible means of flight. But it's not the flying that gets you; it's the landing. The students mathematically calculated what his impact would look like, and it's not pretty. Roughly, it would be about the same as getting hit by a car going 50 mph.
Some possible solutions offered by the students include taking a parachute along, which, they also note, probably isn't true to Batman's aesthetic sensibilities. The other option is to try a wingsuit, similar to record-breaker Gary Connery. Either way, according to the study, he'd better shape up, or The Dark Knight Rises could end up being a much shorter movie than has been speculated.
Nana nana nana, I do not care of an article, that disproves of a fantasy comic hero or fantasy movie not being real, Batman! Get real, its just a FUN MOVIE!
Well that is a given, how many people have failed in the past with wings as small as the Bats, however with that being said Batman was an inventor, "Where did you get so many wonderful toys." So no doubt he would have invented a ducted fan like device installed on the wings to slower his descent down like is on the marine version of the Joint Strike Fighter.
I wonder how these students would judge ironman's landing???
Well then, there is no way Sponge Bob can wear short pants then! So there!
That's part of the fun though. no one's getting "serious mode"
Normally, Hollywood physics annoy me. But I give Batman and the other comic book inspired flicks a pass. They are like cartoons, I expect the laws of physics to be massively altered for dramatic effect.
I was hoping this article would be a little more in depth with the science, being popular science, rather than just calling Bull#$%@. I was expecting them to segway into something showing how it could be done while keeping a similar look and feel.
While we're at it. The liklihood of Riggs and Murtaugh's survival ramping a Grand Prix off the highway, through a building, and back onto the highway is highly unlikely as well.
But they aren't real, its a f*#&ing movie. Come on writers, this is popular science, not popular movie stunt opinion. If you are going to analyze it, get a little deeper into the science of what would be required to bring it into the real world. Otherwise STFU and go find something more productive to cover other than pointlessly highlighting that movies aren't real.
I would like to followup and say i commend the students at University of Leicester for their thoroughness of study on this subject.
It only deepens my disappointment that all popular science did was slap down a few lame comments and post a link to the original article. This is what I expect of a 6th grader posting on a science forum, not articles written for a accomplished and storied magazine and website.
I agree, it is a bleeping movie. The analysis is presumably sound, but so what. Dick Tracy's wrist radio, Iron Man's power source -- the list goes on and on.
There's a phrase that's often used 'suspend your disbelief'. If the story is good enough, it's easy enough to do.
Rememeber, the Bat was a phenomenal athlete. He presumably 'braced' for the landing :)
It's more insulting when they just rub your nose in it. The exotic and high tech Viper ( from the series of the same name) frequently had trouble overtaking Chevy vans !
I'm batman... I'm batman... I can like survive that.. Because I am ... Batman... .. . .. .
Welcome to the disillusionment many of us have felt for some time, but I think you give to much credit to the modern POPSCI - The 'accomplished and storied magazine and website.'
As of late, POPSCI has felt like an agenda driven publication, with an occasional distraction with this sort of off-the-cuff 'find something for us to post in the morning' content.
Perhaps another article about American politics will distract us from the lack of substance. Where is Ms. Boyle?
LOL, ..... fun entertaining article and science project.
Just to be clear, I am laughing AT IT, not with it.
Wait, the article is just being informative... Ok, I am not laughing at them. Your off the hook.
Pop-Sci had an article not too long ago about a man that jumped out of a helicopter at 2400 feet with only a wingsuit. He landed in a big pile of cardboard boxes, but he lived and walked away. I can't imagine the area of the wingsuit's airfoil surface is that much different than the 2.2 square meters they attributed to Batmans's wing.
Being that batman is imaginary you can also imagine that he might employ other technology on landing that conveniently we don't see on the movie. Maybe there are some small thrusters/rockets (it's fake use your imagination) to slow him down a bit upon landing...
It's the people that imagine something impossible and say "I can make that happen!" that create the next useful or cool thing. Suspend your disbelief a little and enjoy the movie. The film makers know that it isn't real, but some kid somewhere is thinking about how cool it would be to fly like Batman. I wonder what he will make in the future.
It is with fantasy, Batman wears a cape, that suggest to our imagination he can fly. In reality, a cape is not a wing, it is an exotic piece of clothing.
Splat! Goes the Batman!
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
I imagine it's all in his shock absorbing tights.
do not argue with Batman. hes like chuck freakin norris squared....yes chuck norris times chuck norris is batman.
Chuck Norris squared is the opposite of dividing by zero. Infinity times infinity. If successful, you would unmake the universe.
Suppose Bats put wheels on the bottom of his feet and shock absorbers to diffuse the kinetic energy created in his propulsion, airplanes do it. Maybe physicists didn't think that ol' Bats uses compressed air and a reverse thrust to slow the decent so he is able to land.
Obviously the scenes in the movie only depict his best landings and will omit the rougher ones. Besides, Batman is a genius and is capable of using his knowledge of chemistry, synthetic biology, and other physical sciences to counteract the extreme forces he puts his body through.
Then there is his martial arts background with a mastery in multiple forms of combat, If Tony Jaa can jump out of a tree and land on his feet from over 15 meters (Ong-bak Thai warrior), don't you think batman can do it too.
Besides, THE BATMAN is more resilient than all humans
When I walk into a theater and with a science fiction or fiction movie, I have already push ( I believe button ), so being prepared to allow some NON-realities to slip by.... and just enjoy the FUN of it all!
If anyone could unmake the universe, it would be Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris is so tough, there is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.
Batman does have protective bracings in his boots to help him land, as well as kick. Check in wikipedia, Its not the most reliable source but its probably true, since either Bruce or Lucius Fox would have thought of it.(duh, 2 heads are better than 1)
lol @ chuck norris' beard fist.
But heck joining in on the fun, what about a change in angle prior to landing to create draft as well as implementing a duck & roll parkour-type landing?
There must be a couple of techs and techniques that could blunt out the impact of landing, especially for a well trained and highly fit individual. (The armor he wears have to be incredibly light and flexible though)
People who attempt to isolate the 'fiction' from science fiction need to remember that science fiction is a genre of entertainment. The operative word here IS 'fiction'. It's not intended to be spot-on accurate at every turn.
As for the people who continuously complain about the popsci.com website, yet continue to return time after time to complain some more about what they consider to be a sub-standard operation - either fish or cut bait.
Charybdis, there is no basis for comparing a wingsuit and Batmans cape. The wing suit has a panel connecting the legs.
When the wearer spreads their feet outwards, an additional control surface is presented which the wearer can use to slow their descent enough that cardboard boxes can absorb the remaining energy, not the pilot.