Scientists Disprove Batman's Glide in Upcoming MovieBatman may not be able to jump over tall buildings in a single bound, but he sure seems to like jumping off of them. That proves to be a problem for some physics students, however, who decided to run the math on whether the Dark Knight's cape would let him safely glide to the ground.
In Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, the cape is a piece of fabric that becomes rigid when electricity passes through it. When Batman jumps off a building, he kicks on the power supply and his cape becomes a glider.
The bat-signal projected against the Fifth Avenue
And while you could technically glide with such a cape, you would still break both your legs.
The problem is that the cap has a wingspan only half that of a hang glider. So to successfully glide, you have to go faster. How fast? Apparently a bone-crunching 50 miles per hour. Sure, if Batman jumped off a tall enough building then his descent speed could be slowed enough. But his forward velocity is still a killer.
It's actually the same problem that wingsuit pilots have been contending with for years. The Everest of wingsuit skydiving is to land, safely, on the ground without ever using a parachute. Stuntman Gary Connery has successfully done that, but he cheated: he landed on 24,000 empty cardboard boxes. Even still, it was a dangerous jump.
But Batman doesn't have the luxury of preparing his landing zone. At best he might find a dumpster, but trash has a surprising number of sharp edges. Perhaps he could use the roof of a cheaply made car, but can you imagine how many roofs he would bust in on any given night?
Perhaps Batman should consider adding a landing gear to his gliding suit. Sure, it would look ridiculous. But at least he would still have working legs.