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"Chicks dig the car."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

BATMOBILE AND OTHER BAT-TRANSPORTATION

The Batmobile is the automobile of DC Comics superhero Batman. The car has evolved along with the character from comic books to television and films reflecting evolving car technologies. Kept in the Batcave accessed through a hidden entrance, the gadget-laden car is used by Batman in his crime-fighting activities.

The Batmobile made its first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939). Then a red sedan, it was simply referred to as "his car". Soon it began featuring an increasingly prominent bat motif, typically including distinctive wing-shaped tailfins. Armored in the early stages of Batman's career, it has been customized over time into a sleek street machine. Although the Batplane was introduced in Detective Comics No. 31, the name "Batmobile" was not applied to Batman and Robin's automobile until Detective Comics No. 48 (February 1941). Other bat-vehicles soon followed, including the Batcycle, Batboat and Robin's Redbird.

The car's design gradually evolved. It became a "specially built high-powered auto" by Detective Comics #30, and in Batman #5, it began featuring an ever-larger bat hood ornament and an ever-darker paint job. Eventually, the predominant designs included a large, dark-colored body and bat-like accessories, including large tailfins scalloped to resemble a bat's wings.

Batman No. 5 (Spring 1941) introduced a long, powerful, streamlined Batmobile with a tall scalloped fin and an intimidating bat head on the front. Three pages after it was introduced, it was forced off a cliff by the Joker to crash in the ravine below. However, an identical Batmobile appeared in the next story in the same issue.

The live action television series was so popular that its campy humor and its Batmobile, a superficially modified concept car, the decade-old Lincoln Futura, owned by George Barris (pictured below with Catwoman and Batgirl) whose shop did the work, were quickly introduced into the Batman comic books. But the high camp and general silliness of the television show did not sit well with long-time Batman comic book fans. So, when the series was canceled in 1968, the comic books reacted by becoming darker and more serious, including having Batman abandon that Batmobile. Its replacement for a number of years was a much simpler model with a stylized bat's head silhouette decal on the hood being the only decoration of note. The 1960s TV style Batmobile still appears from time to time in the comic books, most recently in Detective Comics #850 and the issues of Batman Confidential. In the Bronze Age of Comic Books, the source of the cars was explained in The Untold Legend of the Batman as the work of stunt driver Jack Edison who volunteered to personally construct Batmobiles for Batman after being rescued from a burning wreck.

In mid-1985, a special variation of the Super Powers toyline Batmobile appeared in both Batman and Detective Comics. This design had a full set of front and rear canopies, "Coke-bottle" sides, integrated fins, and generally rounder features, just like the toy. The only difference between this car and its toy counterpart is the nose, which was occasionally drawn to appear longer and more pointed.

In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the Batmobile has been modified into a tank-like armored riot control vehicle, complete with machine guns shooting rubber bullets, a large cannon mounted on the front, and large tank treads in place of tires. According to Batman's narration, the only thing that can penetrate its armor "isn't from this planet." Batman also mentions that it was Dick Grayson who came up with the name. The tank-like vehicle appears to take up two lanes of traffic on a normal road, evidenced when returning from Batman's initial fight with the leader of the Mutants, and thus is too big for normal land travel around Gotham. In the scenes prior to Batman's last stand with the Joker, Batman uses a motorcycle to traverse the city, using the tank again after the attempted nuclear strike and fires in Gotham. This Batmobile reappeared in All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #4, which shows its construction by robots in the Batcave.

Beginning in the 1990s, the number of comics featuring Batman mushroomed with spin-off titles, limited series, and graphic novels. At the same time, there was considerable experimentation with styles of illustration. With different illustration styles in so many different books, there was naturally a corresponding diversity of designs for the Batmobile. This has continued with designs for the Batmobile ranging from conservative and practical to highly stylized to outlandish. Some are heavily armored and can morph into a harrier jet and a submarine.

In the Batman: Hush storyline, a splash page by Jim Lee shows all the previous Batmobiles (from comics, movies, and all TV series) in storage in the Batcave. In addition, some incarnations of the character, such as Batman: The Animated Series, establish that Batman has a large ground vehicle fleet of various makes and models as well as utility vehicles to use when the Batmobile would be too conspicuous. In issue 9 of the third volume of Teen Titans, Robin and his friends use a Batmobile that he shipped out to San Francisco, hiding the expense "in the Batarang budget".

The metafictional Batmobile Owner's Manual, released in 2008, gives theoretical specifications of the car as if it were real. The book states that the Batmobile's five cylinder engine is more powerful than turbine jet engines, and capable of achieving up to 1,700 horsepower (1,300 kW).

Click the link below to view a comic-book style infographic released by carinsurance.org that details the evolution of the batmobile over its seventy year history.

In the 1943 serial film Batman, a black Cadillac was used by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, as well as their secret identities Batman and Robin. Alfred chauffeured the Dynamic Duo in both identities. Eventually a limousine replaced the Cadillac. In Batman and Robin, the 1949 successor to the original serial, the duo drive around in a 1949 Mercury.

In late 1965 20th Century Fox Television and William Dozier's Greenway Productions contracted renowned Hollywood automobile customizer Dean Jeffries to design and build a "Batmobile" for their upcoming Batman TV series. He started customizing a 1959 Cadillac, but when the studio wanted the program on the air in January 1966, and therefore filming sooner than he could provide the car, Jeffries was paid off, and the project went to George Barris.

What became the iconic Batmobile used in the 1966–1968 live action television show and its film adaptation was a customized vehicle that originated as a one-off 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, created by Ford Motor Company lead stylists Bill Schmidt, Doug Poole Sr., and John Najjar and their design team at the Lincoln Styling Department.

In 1954, the Futura prototype was built entirely by hand by the Ghia Body Works in Turin, Italy, at a reported cost of $250,000. It made its debut in pearlescent Frost-Blue white paint on January 8th 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show. In 1959, sporting a fresh red paint job because the original color didn't photograph well, the Futura was featured in the film It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.

Barris was trying to get Hollywood's attention with the Futura, which he had purchased from Ford for the nominal sum of $1.00 and "other valuable consideration", but aside from its film appearance, the Futura had been languishing in his Hollywood shop for several years. With only three weeks to finish the Batmobile, Barris decided that, rather than building a car from scratch, it would be relatively easy to transform the distinctive Futura into the famous crime-fighting vehicle. Design work was conducted by Herb Grasse, working as an associate designer for Barris.

Barris hired Bill Cushenbery to do the metal modifications to the car and its conversion into the Batmobile was completed in just three weeks, at a reported cost of $30,000. They used the primer-painted, white-striped car in October, 1965, for a network presentation reel. Shortly afterward, the car was painted gloss black with "fluorescent cerise" stripes. Barris retained ownership of the car, estimated to be worth $125,000 in 1966 dollars, leasing it to 20th Century Fox and Greenway Productions for use in the series.

When filming for the series began, several problems arose due to the car's age: it overheated, the battery went dead, and the expensive Mickey Thompson tires kept blowing. By mid season, the engine and transmission were replaced with those of a Ford Galaxie. The most frequent visual influence of this car is that later Batmobiles usually have a rear rocket thruster that fires as the car makes a fast start.

This Batmobile's gadgets include a nose-mounted aluminum Cable Cutter Blade, Bat Ray Projector, Anti-Theft Device, Detect-a-scope, Batscope, Bat Eye Switch, Antenna Activator, Police Band Cut-In Switch, Automatic Tire Inflation Device, Remote Batcomputer—radio linked to the main Batcomputer in the Batcave, the Batphone, Emergency Bat Turn Lever, Anti-Fire Activator, Bat Smoke, Bat Photoscope, and many other Bat gadgets. If needed, the Batmobile is capable of a quick 180° "bat-turn" thanks to two rear-mounted ten-foot Deist parachutes. The main license plate seen throughout the series was 2F-3567 (1966). Some changes were made during the run of the series, including different license plates (TP-3567; BT-1), removal of the Futura steering wheel and substitution with a 1958 Edsel steering wheel, and the addition of extra gadgets such as a net in the trunk, remote-controlled driving, a rear-facing camera under the turbine exhaust port, and the Bat Ram. Other devices included: Emergency Bat-turn Lever (releases the Batmobile's parachute that enables quick turns), Bat-ray (capable of many tasks, such as remotely opening quarry's vehicle doors), Automatic fire extinguisher Mobile Batcomputer (in trunk), Bat Beam, Emergency tire inflator, Bat Smoke Screen, Bat-tering Ram (also known as the Bat-ram, used for knocking down reinforced doors), Voice Control Batmobile Relay Unit, Bat-photoscope (works in conjunction with the Microfilm Crime File in the Batcave. Through this device a photo from the crime file can be reproduced remotely in the Batmobile.), Batphone, Police band cut-in switch, Mobile tracking scope, Remote Bat Computer Switch and an Anti-theft switch.

Barris built two fiberglass copies of the original Batmobile for exhibition on the car show circuit and a third for exhibition drag racing. Eventually, the three copies (and the screen-used metal Futura Batmobile) were covered with a black velvet "fuzz" paint, presumably to hide stress cracks in the fiberglass bodies. Later, all three were restored to their gloss black paint job. The three replicas are all based on a 1965–1966 Ford Galaxie. The #1 Barris-built Batmobile sold at Barrett-Jackson Auctions on January 19th, 2013 for $4,620,000, of which $420,000 was paid to Barrett-Jackson in commissions. The three Barris copies all reside in private collections, including the exhibition drag racing version driven by wheelstanding driver Wild Bill Shrewsberry. This car was built with a dual-quad Holman Moody Ford 427 V8 engine, Art Carr-prepared Ford C6 automatic transmission and 5.14 gears in the rear end. Quarter-mile times were in the mid-12 second range, primarily because Shrewsberry would launch the car in second gear and smoke the overinflated rear tires for show down most of the strip. The "rocket exhaust" was made functional via a tank filled with either gasoline or kerosene which was pumped out the exhaust port and ignited electrically.

In October, 2010, DC Comics authorized Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, Indiana, to build officially licensed 1966 Batmobile replicas. These replicas have been sold to customers in England, Italy, Canada, and across the U.S. One of Fiberglass Freaks' 1966 Batmobile Replicas sold at an R & M auction for $216,000. Fiberglass Freaks' owner Mark Racop has been a 1966 Batman fan since he was two years old, and he built his first 1966 Batmobile replica when he was seventeen.

Tim Burton's live-action films Batman and Batman Returns presented a different version of the Batmobile, which reflected those films' Art Deco version of Gotham City, both of which were designed by Anton Furst. It was long, low and sleek, and was built on a Chevy Impala chassis.Spherical bombs could be deployed from its sides. An afterburner was housed in the back. Two M1919 Browning machine guns were hidden behind flaps in each fender. Its grappling hook, once hooked on a structure, serves as an anchor to allow the batmobile to make an extremely sharp turn at high speed that its pursuers typically cannot duplicate. It had superhydraulics for course changes, and a batdisc ejector (side-mounted) that could fire precisely 15 Batdiscs in the 1-second pulse. Other gadgets included chassis-mounted shinbreakers, oil slick dispensers and smoke emitters. Inside, the two-seat cockpit featured aircraft-like instrumentation, a passenger's side monitor, self-diagnostics system, CD recorder, and voice-command recognition system. In Batman Returns it is shown to have a secondary mode referred to as the "Batmissile", where the wheels would retract inward and the sides of the vehicle would break off, converting the car into a thin bullet train-like form capable of squeezing through tight alleyways. Obviously, this secondary mode would require the car to be reassembled and significantly repaired.

The Batmobile's shields are made of ceramic fractal armor panels. They explode outward when struck by projectiles, deflecting injurious force away from the car and its occupants. If Batman must leave the Batmobile for an extended period of time, he can, through a voice command spoken into a wrist device (specifically, the word "shields"), activate the Batmobile's shielding system. This prevents anyone from tampering with the vehicle while it is left unattended. Bulletproof and fireproof steel armor plates envelop the body and cockpit entirely. While this armor is in place, the vehicle cannot be driven. In Batman the shields were not fully functioning. In reality, a life-size model was built, and the shield activation sequence was created with stop motion animation technology. In Batman Returns, the shields held the same characteristics. However, the design was slimmer and the special effects were provided by computer-generated imagery. In shield mode, a small but powerful bomb can be deployed.

The only actual turbine powered Batmobile in existence is a replica of the 1989 film car. It is powered by a military Boeing turboshaft engine driving the rear wheels through a 4 speed semi-automatic transmission and is street registered. This car was designed and constructed by Casey Putsch of Putsch Racing in 2011. Putsch Racing also created a V8 powered replica complete with retractable firing machine guns, automated canopy, internet, and GPS, police/military scanner. That car was also street registered in the United States.

Replicas of the original Tim Burton-era Batmobile are on display in front of several Batman: The Ride roller coasters and also in the street near Batman Adventure – The Ride 2 at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia.

Historic auto attractions in Roscoe, Illinois displays a replica Batmobile from Batman Returns as well as the "Batmissile" in addition to a replica of the Batmobile from the 1960s television series. A series of Onstar TV advertisements featured this particular Batmobile being equipped with the system. OnStar allowed Batman to call various Gotham characters, summon police, remotely unlock the vehicle's doors and find the nearest jet fuel station. This version of the Batmobile was has been seen in various other programs and productions including: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Animaniacs and the animated series.

As the Batman films were handed over to director Joel Schumacher from Tim Burton, the design for the Batmobile updated. Decorative lighting was added to the vehicle's rims, sides and front edge, and the wing-shaped fins reached further into the air. New abilities included a grappling hook allowing the Batmobile to drive up walls, as well as the speed to perform large jumps from surface to surface during chases across Gotham City's elevated freeways and gigantic statues.

The Batman Forever Batmobile's ability to drive up walls was displayed as Batman eludes a dead-end provided by Two-Face and his henchmen. Later in the film, Dick Grayson takes the Batmobile for a joy ride without Batman's permission or awareness. Ultimately, it was destroyed when the Riddler deposited a sack full of explosives in the cockpit. Batman Forever is also notable for the phrase uttered by Batman to Dr. Chase Meridian "It's the car, right? Chicks love the car." The design of the Batmobiles of the Schumacher films have garnered criticism for allegedly resembling giant phalli.

The Batman Forever Batmobile had a Chevrolet 350 ZZ3 high-performance motor. The body is made from a vacuum-bagged high-temperature epoxy fiberglass laminate. The wheelbase is 118 in. (118 inches (3.0 m)), the average car wheelbase measures around 103 (USDOT Data 1980–2000) inches. In all, its size was 300 in long and 126 in high. Carbon fiber was used to build the body of this particular Batmobile.

The Batmobile depicted in Batman Forever sought to accentuate its intricate lines. To do this, the filmmakers equipped it with engine panels, wheels, and undercarriage that were indirectly lit so that they appeared to glow blue. The Batman Forever car also had a split cockpit canopy, separate fenders, and jet exhaust. The roof fin could be opened into a "V" shape for a more contemporary look, though the only time this was shown is during the scene when Dick Grayson is taking the car out for a joyride through the city. The wheels were made to keep the bat emblems upright when the wheels are turning. The bat-emblem hubcaps was a counter-rotating gear that transferred into a stationary point. The two-seat cockpit featured a rear-view monitor, system diagnostics display, and custom gauge cluster. H. R. Giger was chosen to design the Batmobile in the very early stages of production. He left due to creative differences. His designs are on his official website in illustrated and 3D Graphic Art form. There were two primary avoidance/defense features on the Batman Forever version. First, it had the ability to lock all four wheels perpendicular to its centerline, to allow for quick sideways movement. Second, for more dire circumstances, the Batmobile could reroute the jet exhaust to under its front end and launch grappling cables at overhead anchors. With the nose up and the lines in place, the car could climb sheer vertical surfaces like building walls as if it were driving on flat ground.

In episode 53 of The Drew Carey Show (right), Drew Carey won the Batman Forever version of the Batmobile as a prize. Lewis and Oswald take it on a joyride dressed as Batman and Robin without Drew's permission. Oswald was played by Diedrich Bader (Batman's voice in Batman: The Brave and the Bold). In The New Batman Adventures episode "Legends of the Dark Knight", three teenagers discuss their ideas about what Batman is really like. They briefly meet an effeminate youth named Joel in front of a shoemaker's shop, whose idea of Batman consists mainly of a fascination with the tight rubber suits and a Batmobile that can drive up walls (as seen in Batman Forever). The other three children treat Joel's ideas with utter disdain. In the 2011 remake of the comedy film Arthur, Arthur (played by Russell Brand) drives the Batman Forever version of the Batmobile.

A new Batmobile is seen in the 1997 film Batman & Robin. It is prominently featured in one scene in which, as Batman and Robin are in pursuit, Mr. Freeze shoots the underside of the car for several seconds with his freeze-gun, before the car crash-lands. However, in the next scene in the Batcave, the Batmobile is sitting back on its pedestal appearing to be in perfect condition.

In Batman & Robin, the aerodynamic chassis design and "T" axis wheelbase provided the Batmobile counterbalance gyrometric stability, allowing for high velocity 90-degree turns at speeds greater than 70 mph without losing momentum. Initial plans had the Batmobile being able to transform into the "Bathammer" vehicle seen in this film, but were abandoned.

The second Schumacher era Batmobile featured neither a passenger seat nor a canopy. Like the Batman Forever car, this Batmobile (which was designed by Harald Belker) featured light-up wheels and engine panels. The displays were much more involved with this car, however, with red, orange, yellow, and blue lights, as well as special pulsating lights in the counter-rotating turbine intake. The nozzles were canted away from the centerline of the car slightly, so the final effect was that the six exhausts made a "V" pattern to keep the car pointed straight ahead. A bat mask was incorporated in the nose of the car, though the sculpted lines made it somewhat difficult to make out at first. The fins were unmistakable, though, and remain as the largest set ever built into a real-world Batmobile. On the Batman & Robin version the arsenal of weaponry and gadgets is controlled by an onboard voice-activated computer which surrounds the single-seat cockpit. From behind the wheel, the driver has access to a multifunctioning key command response system which delivers immediate weapon activation during attack and defensive procedures. The Batman & Robin version of the Batmobile was equipped with dual-mount, subcarriage rocket launchers, front and rear grappling hooks, multipoint infrared and laser scan tracking units, anterior/posterior wheel-based axle bombs, catapult ejection seat, and disguised central carriage, which detaches to become an emergency road vehicle. The single-seat cockpit featured a two-way videoconferencing screen, radar unit, and Redbird communication switch.

The Batmobile depicted in Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman films owes much to the tank-like vehicle from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, has a more 'workhorse' appearance than the sleek automobiles seen in previous incarnations and does not have a front axle. While the films never refer to the vehicle as the "Batmobile", it is still referred to as such in the scripts. The film's production designer described the machine as a cross between a Lamborghini and a tank.

In Batman Begins (2005), Bruce Wayne utilizes the prototype vehicle known as the Tumbler designed by Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division as a bridging vehicle for the military. It includes weaponry and the ability to boost into a rampless jump. The Tumbler's armour is strong enough to break through concrete barriers without sustaining significant damage. Two full-sized driving versions were used in exterior shots while another full-sized model with hydraulic enhancements was used in jump sequences. A further full-sized, functional version carried propane tanks to fuel the rocket blast out of the rear nozzle. A radio controlled, 1/3-scale electric model also performed stunts in the film including the roof-top chase sequence. Six vehicles were built for the production of the film.

In The Dark Knight (2008), the Tumbler returns and appears twice in the movie: where Batman captures the Scarecrow and in a chase where it's damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the Joker that causes a terminal crash to which Batman ejects from the Tumbler in the Batpod (a motorcycle formed by the front wheels and struts of the Tumbler) as part of a self-destruct sequence which sees the remainder of the vehicle explode. The Tumbler is also seen in the trailers in a deleted scene, exiting the improvised Batcave.

In The Dark Knight Rises (2012), several new Tumblers are seen. Each of these vehicles had the original Tumbler's camouflage color scheme and are used by Bane's gang stolen from Wayne Enterprises. The stolen Tumblers are used in Bane's attempt to control Gotham and are notably seen when the mass of police and criminals are about to battle. One of the Tumblers fires at the crowd of police, only for the Bat to intercept the shot. Three of the Tumblers are destroyed by Batman using the Bat and Selina Kyle using the Batpod.

The Christopher Nolan version of the Batmobile has a pair of autocannons mounted in the nose of the car between the front wheels. In "Attack" mode, the driver's seat moves to the center of the car, and the driver is repositioned to lie face-down with his head in the center section between the front wheels. This serves two main purposes: first, it provides more substantial protection with the driver shielded by multiple layers of armor plating. Second, the low-down, centralized driving position makes extreme precision maneuvers easier to perform, while lying prone reduces the risk of injury a driver faces when making these maneuvers. Other devices included: rear flaps to assist brakes, dual front autocannons, a rocket launcher, landing hook to sprung landing stabilization, integrated fire-extinguishing system, integrated safety connection to gasoline control and a jet engine (ram jet afterburners) on back for quick boosts and rampless jumps. The Tumbler also had a stealth mode, which turns off the car's lights and cuts off the main engine. The vehicle is powered by an electric motor making the car very hard to find in dark places (which makes the mode most useful at night). Explosive caltrops are deployed from the rear of the vehicle, which can take out any cars that make contact with them and the front of car is heavily armored, so the car can ram as a practical offensive attack, and also protects the driver while in the prone driving position/"Attack" mode. Both front wheels can eject when the vehicle is damaged to form the Batpod, a motorcycle-like vehicle (the rest self-destructs). The Tumblers are aslo modified with experimental weapons including a set of missile launchers and a retractable artillery cannon on a turret.

The new incarnation of the Tumbler was proposed by Nolan after he built a proof-of-concept model design out of Play-Doh - a model he admitted looked "very very crude, more like a croissant than a car". Nathan Crowley, one of the production designers for Batman Begins, then started the process of designing the Tumbler for the film by model bashing based on that shape. One of the parts that Crowley used to create the vehicle was the nose cone of a P-38 Lightning model to serve as the chassis for the car's jet engine. Six models of the Tumbler were built to 1:12 scale in the course of four months. Following the scale model creation, a crew of over 30 people, including Crowley and engineers Chris Culvert and Andy Smith, carved a full-size replica of the vehicle out of a large block of Styrofoam, which was a process that lasted two months.

The Styrofoam model was used to create a steel "test frame", which had to stand up to several standards: have a speed of over 100 mph, go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5 seconds, possess a steering system to make sharp turns at city corners, and to withstand a self-propelled launch of up to 30 feet (9.1 m). On the first jump test, the Tumbler's front end collapsed and had to be completely rebuilt. The basic configuration of the newly designed vehicle included a 5.7-liter Chevy V8 engine, a truck axle for the rear axle, front racing tires by Hoosier, rear 4×4 mud tires by Interco., and the suspension system of Baja racing trucks. The design and development process took nine months and cost several million dollars.

With the design process completed, four street-ready cars were constructed. Each vehicle possessed 65 carbon fiber panels and cost $250,000 to build. Two of the four cars were specialized versions. One version was the flap version, which had hydraulics and flaps to detail the close-up shots where the vehicle propelled itself through the air. The other version was the jet version, in which an actual jet engine was mounted onto the vehicle, fueled by six propane tanks. Due to the poor visibility inside the vehicle by the driver, monitors were connected to cameras on the vehicle body. The professional drivers for the Tumblers practiced driving the vehicles for six months before they drove on the streets of Chicago for the film's scenes.

The interior was an immobile studio set and not actually the interior of a street-capable version. The cockpit was oversized to fit cameras for scenes filmed in the Tumbler interior. In addition, another version of the car was a miniature model that was 1:6 scale of the full-sized one. This miniature model had an electric motor and was used to show it flying across ravines and between buildings. However, a full-size car was used for the waterfall sequence. The scale model scenes were filmed on a massive set built on a stage at Shepperton Studios in England over the course of nine weeks. The full-sized vehicles were driven and filmed on the streets of Chicago. In The Dark Knight, the Batpod ejects from the Tumbler, with the Tumbler's front wheels as the Batpod's wheels; this was rendered using computer-generated imagery when attempts to achieve the separation through practical effects proved impossible.

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OTHER BAT-VEHICLES - IN THE AIR

The Batplane, later known as the Batwing, is the fictional aircraft for the comic book superhero Batman. The vehicle was introduced in "Batman Versus The Vampire, I", published in Detective Comics #31 in 1939, a story which saw Batman travel to continental Europe. In this issue it was referred to as the "Batgyro", and according to Les Daniels was "apparently inspired by Igor Sikorsky's first successful helicopter flight" of the same year. Initially based upon either an autogyro or helicopter, with a rotor, the Batgyro featured a bat motif at the front. The writers gave the Batgyro the ability to be "parked" in the air by Batman, hovering in such a way as to maintain its position and allow Batman to return.

The Batgyro was soon replaced by the Batplane, which debuted in Batman #1, and initially featured a machine gun. The vehicle was now based on a fixed wing airplane rather than a helicopter, with a propeller at the front, although a bat motif was still attached to the nose-cone. The Batplane has undergone constant revision since its first appearance, and has even been depicted as having the capability to traverse underwater. With the launch of the Tim Burton directed Batman film of 1989, the Batplane became known as the Batwing, a name which was carried over into the comics. The 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises adapted the Batplane to film once again.

Batman once maintained aircraft in his original Batcave. However, launching these planes so close to Wayne Manor's neighboring estates threatened to compromise Batman's secret identity. The Caped Crusader now "borrows" specially-modified jets and helicopters from Wayne Aerospace's business and military contracts. In the comics the Batplane was developed and modified over the years. Batplane I and the Bat-Rocket favored Batman's signature look over sleek aerodynamics. Batplane II was a retooled Wayne Aeropsace W4 Wraith fighter that married style with substance. In terms of design, it shares features with the Grumman F9F Cougar and McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. When the Batplane is stolen and triplicated by smugglers in Batman #61, Batman and Robin upgrade the Batplane to jet propulsion, adding at least "100 miles per hour" to its maximum speed. Batplane III is a modified Wayne Aerospace SlipStream ($46 million sans "extras"). It is detailed to resemble a standard mid-size corporate jet during take-offs and landings.

The Batplane has appeared in the Super Friends cartoon, where it was revealed to be a jet, and it was most often referred to as the Batjet, except for in season one. The Batwing also appears in Batman: The Animated Series, shaped like a stylized bat with very long wings that jut out past the "head" of the plane. The Batplane in The New Batman Adventures takes on a smaller, sleeker design shaped like a rocket with a curved wing on each side which also appeared in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. In Batman Beyond, flying cars are commonplace and thus the Batmobile used by Terry McGinnis doubles as a plane. The classic Bat-Plane appears frequently in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In The Batman, the Batwing is created in the episode "Thunder" to defeat Maxie Zeus. In the episode "Artifacts", Nightwing uses it to save a plane and crashes it on Freeze. The Batwing briefly appeared in the Young Justice episode "Revelation", where Batman used it to help combat a giant plant monster created by the Injustice League.The Batwing is later seen again in the episode "Coldhearted",where Batman is using it to fly to the flying fortresses and is also comunicating with the team.

The Batwing appears in the movies Batman and Batman Forever, used to combat the Joker and the Riddler, respectively. After being used to prevent a deadly Smilex gas attack, the original Batwing was shot down by the Joker towards the end of the first film and has been rebuilt and upgraded by the events of Forever. The Batwing in the latter actually has an ejection pod which also doubles as a mini sub. Both models of the plane are roughly bat-shaped. In the comic book adaptation of the Batman Forever, the Batwing actually folds up into the Batboat.

An entirely new version of the Batwing appears in the film The Dark Knight Rises referred to simply as the Bat. It is an unconventional, lightweight volantor-like craft with a ventrally mounted rotor. Developed by Lucius Fox, the Bat was originally intended for close-quarters urban military operations but instead becomes Batman's new primary vehicle. Fox notes that the Bat's autopilot function does not work but suggests that Bruce might be capable of fixing it. Batman first uses the Bat to escape pursuing police officers after being cornered in a dark alley. Immediately after, he uses it to rescue Selina Kyle from Bane's henchmen. Later in the film's climax, Batman uses the Bat in the fight to retake Gotham City from Bane and he uses the Bat to haul a fusion bomb away from Gotham City where it detonates over the ocean and presumably kills him. Later, while completing work on the Bat, Fox discovers that Wayne had fixed the autopilot function months before and may have escaped before the bomb detonated. In designing the Bat, Nathan Crowley approached it as if it were an actual military project, emphasising the need for it to "fit into the same family" as the Tumbler and the Batpod. The final version of the Bat takes its design cues from the Harrier Jump Jet, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Boeing AH-64 Apache. Chris Corbould described the Bat's size and shape as presenting a major challenge for filming given Christopher Nolan's emphasis on practical effects over computer-generated imagery. In order to make the Bat "fly", it was variously supported by wires, suspended from cranes and helicopters, and mounted on a purpose-built vehicle with hydraulic controls to simulate movement.

The first appearance of the Batcopter was in the 1966 film Batman. Unlike the Batmobile, the Batcycle, and the Batboat, it was not intended for use in the 1960s Batman television series, which did not have the budget to create such elaborate vehicles. While the other vehicles were bought by 20th Century Fox, the Batcopter was only leased for the movie. It cost Fox $750 a day for five days from April 7 to April 11, 1966.

The Batcopter was a functional helicopter provided by National Helicopter Service. It was based on the Bell 47, which was designed by Bell Helicopter Textron in 1941. The Batcopter was a G3B-1 model, which had previously been used in Lassie Come Home and ABC News. To make the model look more like a superhero vehicle, it was fitted with canvas-covered tubular frames and was painted red. The head of a bat was painted in the front while the Batman symbol was painted on the side. The most dangerous design change was the wings, which reduced power by nearly fifty percent.

For the scenes at sea, the Batcopter was taped at Marineland of the Pacific in Palos Verdes, California. Most of the shots were relatively far away as the pilot was Harry Haus, not Adam West, the actor playing Batman. Hubie Kerns donned the Batman outfit to perform the stunts, namely climbing the rope ladder attached to the helicopter while kicking an exploding shark.


Additional footage of the Batcopter was shot for eventual inclusion in seasons two and three of the TV series. When the Batcopter was returned to National, the wings and tubes were removed. It was repainted to look like all the other helicopters and was used for various purposes over the years, such as covering the 1968 Super Bowl. Eventually National replaced its Bell 47's and sold them. The helicopter which had previously served as the Batcopter was bought by the President of NockAir Helicopter, Inc., Eugene Nock. He repainted it and replaced the tubes so that it could once again be called the Batcopter. The wings, however, were not replaced as they caused so much power reduction. The Batcopter has been retrofitted with new equipment and electronics so that it can now attain altitudes up to 18000 feet, speeds up to 105 miles per hour, and flight times up to 2 hours and 45 minutes.

OTHER BAT-VEHICLES - ON LAND

The Batcycle is the fictional personal motorcycle of comic book superhero Batman. In the comic book universe, Batman's personal Batcycle is a modified street-bike with a 786 cc liquid-cooled V-4 engine. It contains a computer-controlled carburetor and bulletproof wind-guard.

A live action Batcycle made its first appearance in 1966 in the Batman TV series (pictured left). It was a 1965 Harley Davidson with a side car, but it was taken on lease and was only used for the first season episode "Not Yet, He Ain't".

Later that year, a new Batcycle was introduced (pictured below). It was produced by Kustomotive, conceived by Dan Dempski, designed by Tom Daniel, and built by Dan and Korky Korkes using a Yamaha Catalina 250. It was leased to 20th Century Fox starting on April 18th, 1966 for $50 a week with an additional $350 up front. The new Batcycle was first used in the 1966 film Batman and continued to appear in the rest of the TV series. Hubie Kerns and Victor Paul did most of the stunt work with the motorcycle throughout the series. The total amount paid to Kustomotive was $2,500. When the series was canceled, Kustomotive used the Batcycle in car shows, paying royalties to Greenway, 20th Century Fox, and National Periodical Publications. Kustomotive built four replicas of the Batcycle for tours.

Robin's sidecar (a detachable self-propelled vehicle) was authenticated by Burt Ward on the television series Hollywood Treasure and sold at auction for $30,000.

The Batcycle is known as the Batpod for The Dark Knight (2008). The bike has 20" front and rear tires and is powered by a high-performance, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine - geared toward the lower end for faster acceleration and with no exhaust pipes. The exhaust is routed through the hollow steel/aluminum/magnesium tubing used for the frame of the bike. The Batpod is steered by the shoulders instead of hands, and the rider's arms are protected by shields. The two foot pegs are set 3½ feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down. The engine noise was designed around the shepard tone, for which sound effects came, in part, from the sound of the Tesla Roadster's electric motor. The Batpod ejects out of the Tumbler's front end, with the Tumbler's front wheels becoming the Batpod's front and rear wheels. Because the Tumbler is ordered to self-destruct, the Batpod allows Batman to continue his pursuit. For the film, the bike is armed with grappling hooks, cannons, and machine guns. Six models were constructed for the film's production to anticipate some of them crashing.

One action sequence in the film shows the wheels rolling against their normal axes, seemingly for added stability in sharp turns or other maneuvers. This also allows for instant changes in direction - if the driver approaches a wall, the Batpod's central frame will rotate to keep the driver upright (the inspiration for this useful chassis feature may well have been the innovative wheel configuration on a Killough Platform into omnidirectionally mobile chasses). The Batpod's chassis also elongates, allowing the rider to pass under low-hanging obstacles, as when Batman slaloms underneath a tractor trailer the Joker is driving. The term "Batpod" is mentioned by Alfred Pennyworth only once in the movie.

The Batpod is used again in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). At first, it serves as Batman's primary vehicle. Later, Selina Kyle uses the Batpod during the final battle against Bane's forces for the fate of Gotham. Batman uses the Bat to fight Bane's stolen Tumblers from the air while Selina uses the Batpod to open a tunnel to allow Gotham civilians to escape, to shoot Bane, and to destroy at least two of Bane's Tumblers while tracking the nuclear bomb Bane and Talia al Ghul intended to use to destroy the city. During filming on August 9th, 2011, a stunt performer collided with an IMAX camera while filming a chase scene involving Kyle's Batpod.

In the third season of the Batman TV Series Batgirl (played by Yvonne Craig) joined the cast with her very own Bat-Cycle. The bike itself was a Yamaha YDS-5E. Batgirl accesses the bike from an old unused elevator, hidden behind a revolving wall in her apartment. The elevator lowers the cycle down to an alleyway where she zooms out of the wall and into the street.

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Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl in the 1997 film Batman & Robin got a less "frilly" ride than TV's Batgirl. Her specialized motorcycle had a little more street cred and was dubbed the Batblade. The Batblade was built on the body of a drag racer: the rear tire comes not from a motorcycle, but from a car. Originally the equipment for fast pursuits was conceived, and with the help of the special effects it functions also on smooth underground and under most extreme weather conditions enabling Batgril to race into action against Mr. Freeze at the end of the film.

OTHER BAT-VEHICLES - IN THE WATER

The first official Batboat made its debut in April 1946 (in Detective Comics #110). The storyline involved Scotland Yard providing Batman and Robin with the boat in order to speed their search for the villainous Professor Moriarty.


Early in his career, while investigating arms dealers operating along the wharves of Gotham City's Chinatown district, Batman used a prototype Batboat to pursue the fleeing criminals. In what was later regarded as an "extreme measure", Batman destroyed their launch with a bow-mounted flame-thrower. Also featured in the comics, in Sub-Level 6 of the Batcave, there's an aqua-dynamic hydrofoil/submersible (otherwise known as the Batboat) on both the navigable Gotham River and the Atlantic Ocean's waters.

The Bat-Submersible (or "Batsub") made its debut in May 1949 in Detective Comics #147. Batman and Robin employed the Bat-Sub in order to net Tiger Shark. The Batsub (or Bat-Sub) is another fictional watercraft along with the Batboat used by the comic superhero Batman for alternative transportation purposes.

The first appearance of the Batboat on film was in the 1966 Batman movie based on the TV series. It was subsequently used in seasons two and three. It was created by Glastron Industries. Since Glastron was based in Austin, Texas, the world premiere of the 1966 "Batman" movie was also held there. Mel Whitley and Robert Hammond designed the Batboat from a Glastron V-174. They added a red flashing beacon, glowing eyes, batzooka hatches, seats for both Batman and Robin at the front of the boat, twin wind screens, a center console, an outdrive jet cover, and an aft to deck cover with a glowing Bat-Signal on the tail fin. Although the boat was powered by a Merc Cruiser L-6 stern drive and Attwood Corporation manufactured the hardwire, a water squirter and a jet nozzle were added to make the Batboat look like it was nuclear-powered. It took 31 days to build.

Eventually, a replica was built of the Batboat. When the Batman television show was cancelled, Glastron used the two Batboats for promotions on tours. After much touring, the boats were sold. One boat went to a Glastron dealer who was a Shriner. He used it in various Shriner parades. This Batboat was then moved to the Car Stars museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The Bat Ski Boat is a darker version of the Batboat. In the 1992 live-action film Batman Returns. Batman uses the jet-powered hydrofoil near the climax of the film to travel through Gotham's sewer system towards the Penguin's lair. The Bat Ski Boat's design has elements from the film's Batmobile and the figure of a shark. It is a single-seater and has the same extras as the Batmobile, including torpedo launchers. It also has a radar, which can be used by Batman to monitor each area of Gotham City. Two Bat Ski Boats were manufactured for Batman Returns: a full-size version 7.6 meters long and 4.9 meters wide, and a model 1.8 meters long and 1.2 meters wide.

A second Batboat (a jet-powered cigarette boat) appears in the film Batman Forever, piloted by Robin, and is quickly destroyed by The Riddler and Two-Face. In the same film, a version of the Batwing is shown to have a cockpit that can transform into a submersible vehicle should the air vehicle be shot down. This mini submarine does not have armament and is only equipped with a search headlight.

What Batman villain formerly worked as a zoologist?

Killer Croc
The Penguin
ManBat
Poison Ivy

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Batman DC Comics Sixth Scale Figure

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Content intended for informational and educational purposes only under the GNU Free Documentation Areement.
All Batman and DC Universe characters and merchandise are copyright © and property of Warner Brothers, Dc Comics, or their subsidiaries and licensors.

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