Batman could fly, but he'd crash and die

LONDON Mon Jul 9, 2012 11:33pm IST

A reveler dressed as Batman gestures beside a caricature of Germany's Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (R) as they attend a carnival parade in Berlin, in this February 27, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Files

A reveler dressed as Batman gestures beside a caricature of Germany's Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (R) as they attend a carnival parade in Berlin, in this February 27, 2011 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Holy crash landing Batman! The crime-fighting caped crusader could fly but if he did, he would smash into the ground and probably die, a group of British physics students have calculated.

Dashing the dreams of comic fans across the world, four students from the University of Leicester said that while Batman could glide using his cape as he does in the 2005 film "Batman Begins", his landing would almost certainly prove fatal.

The superhero is back in cinemas later this month in "The Dark Knight Rises" and they suggested Batman should go shopping before trying a similar attempt to become airborne over Gotham City.

"If Batman wanted to survive the flight, he would definitely need a bigger cape," said David Marshall, 22, one of the students in the final year of their four-year Master of Physics degree.

"Or if he preferred to keep his style intact he could opt for using active propulsion, such as jets to keep himself aloft."

In a paper titled "Trajectory of a falling Batman", the group argued that if he jumped from a 150-metre (492-foot) high building, the 4.7 metre (15-foot) wingspan of Batman's cape would allow him to glide 350 metres (1148 feet).

However, he would reach a speed of 68 miles per hour (109 km per hour) before hitting the ground at a life-threatening speed of 50 mph (80 kph).

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato)

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