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Batwing (Burton films)

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The Batwing
General Information
Official name: Batwing
Appearances: Batman
Designed by: Anton Furst
Tim Burton
Derek Meddings
Type: Custom aircraft
Used by: Batman

"Winged battle flies through the night and finds me ready."
the Joker[src]

The Batwing was Batman's custom-built air combat vehicle. The craft was fully armed with miniguns and missiles. It is unknown where the vehicle was stored, but it was presumably kept somewhere near the grounds of Wayne Manor or in the Batcave



"He stole my balloons! Why didn't somebody tell me that he had one of those... things?!"
The Joker[src]

Batman's first known use of the Batwing was after Joker's rise to power, during his takeover of Gotham's 200th Anniversary Parade. Batman used it to dispose of the Joker's balloons filled with "Smylex" gas that he was using to kill everyone in the crowd. Batman started by opening fire on some of Joker's goons and floats. He then extended a grabbing arm on the nose the Batwing, and used it to grip the wires of the balloons and pull them above the clouds, saving a majority of the crowd from the gas they were dispensing.

After the gas dissipated Batman again fired upon some Joker's Goons with the Batwing's miniguns, dropping some more of them. Shortly after that, Batman locked on the Joker, who was standing still in the middle of the street with his arms out, daring him to kill him. After firing everything 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 plane was critically damaged and crashed into the steps of Gotham Cathedral.

A second Batwing was eventually developed and used several years later to confront the Riddler and Two-Face.

Technical specificationsEdit



  • Wingspan: 35ft
  • HUD and Targeting Computer


  • Two side-mounted GE M134 Miniguns
  • Four wing-mounted missile launchers
  • Lasers
  • An all-purpose grabbing arm/mouth on the nose of the plane


Behind the ScenesEdit

Background Information and NotesEdit


Designed specifically for the 1989 Batman movie, the Batwing was designed by Anton Furst and constructed as a model by Derek Meddings. The vehicle was deliberately designed after the sickle-shape of the movie's Bat-symbol.

At least five models were created of the aircraft at various sizes and scales, with only one (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 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 has been around in comics since 1939, the Batman 1989 film first introduced the classification of "Batwing". The movie's Batwing was also the first of any Bat-aircraft to be physically shaped after the bat-emblem to such a degree.
Following its appearance, comics and other media began to adopt the classification and excentric shape of the vehicle onto other Bat-aircraft; usually one-man fighter crafts 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; creating a Bat-silhouette similar to the movie'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 selling fragments of the destroyed Batwing.
  • In the comics, after having captured Onyx, the Red Hood comments on the Batwing's stealth ability as Batman arrives; "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!" This quote is thought to reference exactly what the Batwing did in the 1989 movie.
  • The targeting computer Batman uses in the Batwing is similar in appearance to the targeting computer the X-wing pilots use in the 1977 movie, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The computer also fails the pilots similarly in both movies.

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