the fictional batmobile VS the real car
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the fictional batmobile VS the real car Expand / Collapse
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Posted 4/4/2009 2:34:44 PM
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Hello, I plan to build a small scale, realistic, functional, toy replica of the 89-92' batmobile.
I came on this site to find pictures that would show how it works inside and I discovered that not only the actual car doesn't work like the fictional car (how we think it works) but also that even the fictional car has technical impossibilities !

First, the turbine. The movie made us (me) think that the batmobile was actually propelled like a jet and that the wheels were only for braking and turning, like a dragster. But the actual car has only the front and end parts of the turbine. In real it works with a classic car engine (I browsed the gallery but it's difficult to guess which are from the original car and from the replicas, so I might be wrong). The thing is that even if they wanted they couldn't have made the turbine go all the way through the car (and keep the same exterior design) because of 1) the cockpit (we can see batman punching through the chassis so he's not seating on the turbine) and 2) the pneumatic (or hydraulic) turntable. I'm not engineer but I think that if they had tried to put a turbine and make the air split in two to go on both side then reunite at the rear, the thing would have exploded.

Second, the batmissile's wheels. Having the wheels move inside the missile (the core) on their axis seems technically difficult, and having them move back or forth to position themselves "in line" seems impossible. But there's more, how do you steer this thing ? It might be possible to make it bend like a motorbike with an elaborate weight transfer system. That's how it seems to turn in the movie and the only solution since the wheels are too close to each others to turn and even if they did it would be only at low speed or the car would simply fall. Or perhaps the truth is that it was all glass fiber (it seems very lightweight from the movie) and Keaton was actually running with the casing on his shoulders...
But there's an even more important fact to consider : there is simply no space for the wheels to be inside the batmissile because the turbine is already there !!!! That's true for both the front and rear, and still true for the front if a classic motor was used.

The batmobile looks great and I love it but I can't understand how the original designer (who must be highly respected here) could make such absurdities...

Anyway, my real concern is this : how can I make my toy replica have a working turbine with the same exterior design with still a cockpit, and also be transformable into the batmissile by loosing the wings and the wheels too I'm afraid. So what could the batmissile be ? a boat, a submarine ? or does it have skies or mini wheels under it ?
I'd like your suggestions.
Post #74355
Posted 4/4/2009 5:28:33 PM


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first the vehicle didn't run on a turbine not one in it at all .It was a propane fueled spray block check some older threads on this site you'll see for yourself. in reality like someone wrote here the car just doesn't exist not in the way you think I know what I'm talking about here I build one in 3d. to make one with those components there's just not enough room maybe the interior can be pulled off and even the opening like a flower roof bonnet could be done but not the jet turbine. unless in your your turbine is really small or your R/C vehicle was really large but that would only make cooler. Good luck check out my post SketchUp Tumbler

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Post #74358
Posted 4/29/2009 6:01:09 PM


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The whole Batmissile thing is a near physical impossibility....There might be a way to do it in reality but it would take some severe engineering....and just not worth it when you consider the amount of damage you would do to the parts when ejected.

However the turbine engine can be done and it can be configured in the way it is represented in the movie....there are a few cars in real  life that have been built with turbines and the exhaust can be routed around the cockpit.  Check some of my posts...most  have to do with incorporating a real turbine into a Keaton car.....which I hope to one day do.

Also there is no indication in the movies that I can recall of, that say the rear wheels are not driven by the turbine.   A turbine can power the wheels, the firey exhaust can be just used as an afterburner....all of this is very physically possible and has been done to some extent by others...just not with a Batmobile replica that I know of. 

I am with you in that it is a bit disappointing to me how many of the really cool looking things about the car are just fanciful and actually detrimental to the car were it to be built to function as the real deal (those side intakes, the scoop on the roof, the huge side fins)....but then again the car was made for a fanciful character and its Hollywood. 

I guess that is what they didnt want to do again with the Tumbler, which was built to be much more realistic...I dont care for its looks but it does make much more sense than our beloved 89.

Post #74809
Posted 4/30/2009 12:46:16 AM


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I agree with Maxatron, the car could be built with the turbine intake in the front and the afterburner in the rear. The turbine could be mechanically connected to the drivetrain. I'm sure eventually someone will be crazy and rich enough to do the deal.

Don't be too disappointed that its only a movie prop. Its still is a popular movie icon and easily recognizable by many people. When I drove my 89 body up from LA it was a shell, no chassis motor or wheels. But it was amazing to see people's reaction as I made the 400 mile trek home. When I stopped at a gas station numerious people asked if they could take their picture with the Batmobile which I naturally said yes.

I'm old enough to remember 8 track cassettes,car phones that had to remain in the car and gas at 35 cents a gallon. Movies about the future are so intriquing because almost anything we can imagine could be possible in our future......BWD

Post #74814
Posted 4/30/2009 5:22:53 AM
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I would be particularly interested in seeing drawings or pictures of how things would look under the casing of the theoretical car.
What are the huge mechanics on the side next to the grappling hook ? And on the original blueprints, what are those big pipes that seem to go through the portholes ? And how would the afterburners and exhausts connect with the turbine ?
Post #74815
Posted 4/30/2009 10:23:49 PM


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I made a proposed design for a "real" 89 while keeping most of its cinematic appearance intact and omitting or altering those that make absolutely no sense...again search my posts...there arent that many so it should be easy to find.
Post #74825
Posted 5/1/2009 4:53:52 AM
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I found the post where you redrew the casing, but what I wanna know is the design for under the casing. (I know nothing about aeronautic and not much about automobiles but I wanna do it, should it be in a simplistic way.)

The existing car (that I could think of) closest to a theoretical batmobile is the ThrustSuperSonicCar.
Post #74827
Posted 5/1/2009 12:30:20 PM


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The Thrust SSC is not a car I would use as a rough model for a functional Batmobile.  For one thing its huge, costs millions of dollars, cant really steer, is 100% thrust driven.....so IMHO its not even a real car, its a plane w/clipped wings.

There are and have been many turbine powered cars and motorcycles, even go-carts, they are all over the internet.   For your proposed model, I have seen mini turbine engines...but they are quite costly ($2-$5k!)...all said and done a functional mini Batmobile will end up costing as much as a real car.  Those mini turbines cost almost as much as a surplus real helicopter turbines (which is the size that would best work with a real Batmobile).  Of course you can build your own from scratch...I've seen those too.

Post #74835
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