- "Winged battle flies through the night and finds me ready."
- ―The Joker to his Goons about Batman.[src]
The Batwing was Batman's custom-built air combat vehicle. The craft was fully armed with mini-guns and missiles. It was unknown where the vehicle was stored, but it was presumably kept somewhere near the grounds of Wayne Manor or was in the Batcave.
- "He stole my balloons!! Why didn't somebody tell me that he had one of those... things?!"
- ―The Joker to his Goons about the Batwing[src]
Batman's first known use of the Batwing was after The Joker's rise to power, during his takeover of Gotham City's 200th Anniversary Parade. Batman used it to dispose of Joker's balloons that were filled with "Smylex" that Joker attempted to use to kill everyone in the crowd. Batman opened fire on some of Joker's Goons and floats. Batman then extended a grabbing arm on the nose of the Batwing, used it to grip the wires of the balloons, pulled them above the clouds, and saved a majority of the crowd from Smylex.
After the gas dissipated, Batman again fired upon some of Joker's Goons with the Batwing's mini-guns, and dropped some more of them. Shortly after that, Batman locked onto the Joker, who stood still in the middle of the street with his arms out, and dared him to kill him. After he fired everything that the Batwing had, Batman somehow missed his target completely. The Joker then pulled a long barreled gun out of his pants, and fired one single bullet that scored a direct hit to the front of Batwing. The Batwing was critically damaged and crashed into the steps of the Gotham Cathedral.
- Wingspan: 35ft
- HUD and Targeting Computer
- Two side-mounted GE M134 Mini-guns
- Four wing-mounted missile launchers
- An all-purpose grabbing arm/mouth on the nose of the plane
- See: Batwing (Burton Films)/Gallery for additional images
Behind the ScenesEdit
Background Information and NotesEdit
Designed specifically for the 1989 Batman movie, the Batwing was designed by Anton Furst and was constructed as a model by Derek Meddings. The vehicle was deliberately designed after the sickle-shape of the film's Bat-symbol.
At least five models were created of the Batwing at various sizes and scales, with only one (that was seen burning on the Cathedral steps) created in full-scale.
Other models included an 8ft, fully automated model, a 2ft model and a 1" model. A full-size segment of the cockpit was created in front of a blue-screen set for close-up shots of Michael Keaton piloting the craft.
The Batwing's crash sequence was shot on a 1/12 scale miniature set and the aircraft model that was used was created out of pewter to ensure that it would break up on impact.
Although the notion of Batman possessing and flying a Bat-themed aircraft was around in the comics since 1939, Batman first introduced the classification of "Batwing". The film's Batwing was also the first of any Bat-aircraft that was physically shaped after the Bat-symbol to such a degree.
Following its appearance, comics and other media began to adopt the classification and eccentric shape of the vehicle onto other Bat-aircraft; usually one-man fighter crafts that were piloted by Batman himself.
- As the Batwing ascended to gain altitude for its strafe-run on the Joker, it briefly "posed" in front of the moon; and created a Bat-silhouette that was similar to the film's logo.
- The first draft of Batman Returns was intended to be a direct sequel to the previous film. As a result, subplots and continuity from the first film that would have been addressed included gift shops that sold fragments of the destroyed Batwing.
- In the comics, after he captured Onyx, Red Hood commented on the Batwing's stealth ability as Batman arrived; "You see, Onyx, the Batplane can operate on two levels! When it goes for stealth, it's beyond silent! It actually absorbs and amplifies the natural sounds in its environment! Amazing, right?! But when he wants to be heard, man... he's altered the engines so they run coarse--hard! So, if he's barreling down on you in that bucket. Its sounds like hell itself is dropping out of the sky!" That quote was thought to reference exactly what the Batwing did in the 1989 film.
- The targeting computer that Batman used in the Batwing was similar in appearance to the targeting computer that the X-wing pilots used in the 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. The computer also failed the pilots similarly in both movies.