Taking advantage of the resources of WayneTech's various divisions, notably Wayne Aerospace, Bruce Wayne was able to design modified versions of commercial products for use in his crime-fighting career as Batman. Over the course of several years, there have been numerous versions of the Batplane model. An early model Batplane was a hybrid fighter jet and helicopter (often referred to as Batplane II). When it became necessary to achieve a higher rate of climb, the helicopter assembly folded down into the fuselage of the craft. Like other versions of the Batplane, Batplane II was equipped with a fully-functioning crime lab, and magnesium flares encased inside of the cone.
Batman once maintained aircraft in the Batcave, although launching these vehicles so close to Wayne Manor's neighboring estates threatened to compromise his secret identity. The Dark Knight now "borrows' specially modified jets and helicopters from Wayne Aerospace's business and military contracts. A few very specific craft remain fueled and ready for Bruce Wayne's private Use, no questions asked.
The current Batplane is a modified Wayne Aviation SlipStream ($46 million sans "extras"). It's detailed to resemble a standard mid-size corporate jet during take-offs and landings. Some of its features and capabilities are as follows:
- At cruising altitude (35,000-45,000 ft.), telescoping wings retract. Exterior sections of tail and nose-cone envelop cockpit and cabin fuselage for higher altitude pressurization.
- Gaining further altitude (45,000-55,000 ft.) delta fins in the tail and snub winglets elongate to increase efficiency and stability as speeds approach supersonic.
- At ceiling altitudes (55,000-60,000 ft.) "smart" paint on exterior radar-shielding ceramics responds to dropping air pressure and temperature, thus camouflaging the Batplane's exterior to stealthy black.
- Avionics include ergonomic "at-a-glance" viewing levels for all electronics and multifunction displays. The breakaway canopy allows for pilot/co-pilot emergency ejection. The reinforced acrylic glass canopy windows polarize at stealth altitude.
Behind the scenes
- Similar vehicles dubbed the "Batwing" have appeared in the films Batman and Batman Forever as well as some of the Batman animated series over the years.
- In The Dark Knight Rises Batman pilots a flying vehicle known as "The Bat", though this is more similar to Blue Beetle's "The Bug" and Nite-Owl's Owlship.