If you want to keep your fantasy world of superheros intact, it’s best to move on from this post, because physics is about to step in an ruin Batman for you.
Physics students David Marshall, Tom Hands, Ian Griffiths and Gareth Douglas penned a research paper entitled “Trajectory of a falling Batman” which examines the wingspan, height of descent and velocity representative of Batman’s cape during one of his flights, before proceeding to expose fatal flaws.
Apparently, Batman’s cape could support a 1,150 foot glide off a 492-foot tall tower, but his velocity would peak somewhere around 68 mph before leveling off at 50 mph, resulting in a new superhero called “Splatman”. The solution, according to the team, would be to employ more realistic options such as jet propulsion, parachutes, or possibly even something like Gary Connery’s wingsuit.
This study resulted from a fourth year Masters program Physics Special Topics module at the University of Leicester which encourages applying physics in an “outside of the box” situation – which “Trajectory of a falling Batman” most certainly is.