As the new Batman movie by Christopher Nolan is fast approaching release date (and I for one can’t wait!), please indulge me in a Batman related science story!
The Dark Knight Rises, and Crashes: Students Discover Batman’s Cape Gliding Technique Is Fatally Flawed
Physics students have calculated that the superhero’s method of using his cape to glide from tall buildings — as seen in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins — would result in him hitting the ground at life-threateningly high speeds.
In the film, the caped crusader — played by Christian Bale — wears a cape which becomes rigid when a current is passed through it, allowing him to glide over Gotham City in a similar manner to a base jumper in a wingsuit.
Four MPhys students from the University of Leicester have published a paper claiming that although this method of gliding would be possible, Batman would be likely to suffer a fatal collision when he reached the ground.
Due to the high speeds he would be travelling, his impact with the ground would be equivalent to him being struck by a car travelling at 50 miles per hour.
The group concluded that DC Comics’ superhero should consider taking a parachute with him if he wanted to stay in one piece.
Source: Science Daily
So the cape in the movie would allow him to glide but would have an awful brake mechanism, due to the short span of his wings/cape.
Perhaps he should call Superman for some pointers.
Nana nana nana nana Splatman!