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Physics shows Batman could fly, but landing would kill him

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Posted by: Lance Liebl

Everyone knows that Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is more rooted in reality than other superhero movies. But really, how realistic is it? Well, let's just say Batman should avoid gliding at all costs.

In Batman Begins, we see the caped crusader flying over the narrows, terrifying everyone. The thing is, in reality, he would suffer a very painful death once he lands. Reuters found a group of four students from the University of Leicester that have done the math when it comes to the reality of Batman being able to glide like in the movies. And the results aren't looking good.

David Marshall, one of the students who is in the final year of his Master of Physics degree, said, "If Batman wanted to survive the flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape [...] or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for using active propulsion, such as jets to keep himself aloft."

I could have come to this conclusion as well, but I'm awful at math and far too lazy to actually figure it out. The science behind it comes down to this:

If Batman jumped from a 150-meter (492-foot) building, the 15-foot wingspan of Batman's cape in the movies would allow him to glide 350 meters or 1148 feet. The bad part is that he would reach a speed of 68 miles-per-hour, which is pretty damn dangerous, and would hit the ground at a life-threatening speed of 50 mph.

The main question I have is: why would the villains in the movies try to defeat him with their methods when all they had to do was get him to glide — he'd essentially be committing suicide. The study is fun and all, and the students definitely deserve a ton of credit, but they forgot to factor in a huge variable — how awesome Batman is.

Now let's see them figure out how realistic 'The Bat' is in The Dark Knight Rises.

You can follow Movies and Culture Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ

Tags: Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, Movies, Culture

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