By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
The latest Batmobile is the first ever to be powered by a turbine jet engine, making it the superhero vehicle of all superhero vehicles.
Die-hard fans of the Batman comic book series have for years proved their mettle by building and showing off replicas of the iconic Batmobile. But one of them, Casey Putsch, has some serious bragging rights.
That's because his version is the first ever to be powered by a turbine jet engine, making it the superhero vehicle of all superhero vehicles. You wouldn't know by the car's exterior, which comes off like a standard fair replica, but the beast inside the 20-foot long two-seater is indeed a bonafide 365 hp military-grade Boeing turboshaft helicopter motor.
While it can't do neat tricks like transform into a batpod motorcycle a la the Dark Knight movie series, the racecar enthusiast did go to great lengths to make his Batmobile as futuristic as possible. It's a four-speed automatic and comes equipped with visible light spectrum and infra-red cameras, a fire suppression system and the cockpit even has a sliding canopy. And it does includes one upgrade: an iPad for touchscreen access to music, videos and the internet.
Although it may seem like a novel trick, the concept of rigging a standard four-wheeler with a gas turbine engine was actually at one time a fully-viable proposed technology for commercial vehicles. In the 1960's, Chrysler trialed a turbine-powered car that was designed to burn diesel fuel, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, JP-4 jet fuel, and even vegetable oil. Besides being able to run on almost anything, it also had a lot fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engines and was less affected by extreme weather conditions, meaning drivers wouldn't need to warm up the engine on those extremely frigid days.
One of the downsides was that it often sounded like you were driving a giant vacuum cleaner, though in the comic book universe the noise would be less of an annoyance and more of a testament to one's superhero prowess, like a mountain lion's roar.
- New engine radically improves fuel economy, cuts emissions
- Innovative motor lets gas-powered cars go electric
Pusch's design still leaves plenty to be desired, however. It can only burn either diesel or kerosene jet fuel. And according to the Batmobile Owner's Manual, published in 2008, the Batmobile's five cylinder engine is supposed to be more powerful than turbine jet engines, with an output somewhere in the 1700 horsepower range.
It won't be easy, but this one can definitely be one-upped (sorry Casey).
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Gas-powered diesel engine may double fuel efficiency
- Ford’s powerful mini-motor saves fuel, cuts emissions
- New 9-speed auto transmission also a gas saver
More futuristic tech:
- Video: Is futuristic Skylon the space shuttle of tomorrow?
- Video: Can odd-looking ‘diwheel’ be electric vehicle of the future?
- Will radical new flying machine replace helicopters?
- Next generation high-speed rail: trains that fly
- Video: Jetpack flies among the clouds, shatters all sorts of records
- Superbus hopes to turbocharge mass transit
Jul 14, 2011
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what most people who keep going on about carbon footprints in cars is that one large oil tanker or cruise ship uses more fuel & emits more carbon on ONE TRIP than a whole small countries total car use in one year! This is something "they" do not want you to know & keep very quite. just check fuel consumption of a large ship in gallons per mile & vast distances across the sea.
I doubt one more car or 1,000 or a million will end the world tomorrow. Just let it be, it's the BatMobile and it's freaking cool as all get out!! You know the carbon foot print, of a tree is the has the same impact on the environment that mother nature intended. Whether the tree dies of natural causes and seeps back in to the ground or is burned in a fire, the overall footprint is the same. The unbalanced part is not planting more trees, which in the USA is a non-issue, we're harvesting trees we planted twice over already in some areas, our main issues is clean water. As is the entire world.
...what is its carbon footprint? What's the point of Batman's do-goodingness if he's just destroying the planet in the process?
I remember a demo of that one. It only made a white noise hiss, and you could stand a nickle on its edge on the engine while it was running. I still have the plastic model I built of it.
The Batmobile on the '60s Batman TV series was clearly based on the Chrysler gas turbine concept car. Maybe even modified from it. Whether the jet engine on the back was an actual turbine or just special effects, I don't know.
when you compare the tonnage per mile per gallon ships are far more efficient than either railroads or trucks. Maybe electric railroads might come close.
That Batmobile was reworked from a Ford concept car called the Futura (before the Falcon model came out) from either the late 50s or early 60s. I'm sure the flaming exhaust was all special fx. The one pictured is a replica based on the one from the Michael Keaton Batman movie.