The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley wanted to add a new toy to the already massive line of vehicles that the Batman has driven. They didn't want to build something on a computer screen, though. They wanted something real, something tangible, like the Tumbler. They wanted a physical vehicle that could be used on set. After five models, the batplane/heli-tank/batwing/flying batmobile above is what they came up with. The complex design of the batplane is actually a combination of several real-life aircrafts that Crowley and Nolan had grown to like.
"We came up with the idea that maybe the rotors are on the underside, which physically probably makes no sense," Crowley said. "The jump jets are on the front so you can try and guide yourself. And then the whole main body is flaps to exhaust the propellers and the jump jet so you could try and hover. If you combine the F-35B swiveling nozzles, Harrier jump jets, and Osprey rotors, that’s kind of what we’ve done."
Starting with the second picture, we have the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter, the F-35B, the harrier jump jet, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Unlike any of those planes and helicopters, however, the batplane is not a functioning aircraft that can fly. If it were able to, it's not likely any of those men would be making movies.
Related: The Complete History of the Batmobile
[via Jalopnik via Popular Science]