The Physics of Batman: Could Batman Really Fly?
Trajectory of a Falling Batman
Thank you, British physics students, for clearing something up for the rest of us. It turns out that, using the costume and equipment shown in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Batman really could fly.
Well, "glide without plummeting like a rock" is a more accurate description. Should he leap from a 150-meter (492-foot) building, Batman could glide for 350 meters (1,148 feet). This also presumes that Batman's cape and its support structures operate as shown in the movies, i.e. that that technology is really so lightweight and portable. Obviously, Condorman is a more believable real-world analog.
- Trajectory of a Falling Batman: University of Leicester Journal of Special Physics Topics (pdf)
However, landing is a problem. Basically Batman's badass glide would turn into a suicidal death plunge. Here's the money quote: "Clearly gliding using a batcape is not a safe way to travel, unless a method to rapidly slow down is used such as a parachute."
The study suggested that a real-life Batman would require a bigger cape, or some sort of jetpack.
Perhaps Bruce Wayne should get in touch with wingsuit game-changer Gary Connery, who managed to land in a wingsuit without a parachute or the need for a casket. Or maybe he could call Yves "Jetman" Rossy...
Yves Rossy: Bonjour, c'est Jetma--
Batman: WHERE'S RACHEL?!