Francine In Retirement
Seeing Life Through Photography



In August of 2011, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios came to Pittsburgh to film a portion of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.

Now that I am among the retirement forces and free as a bird, I found out where they were shooting and headed out with camera in hand to do my own photo shoot.

Too bad no one was permitted within a block and a half of the set.  But I was able to get some shots of Batman’s mode of transportation that was being used in this latest installment.


This vehicle took the Batmobile to another level with the sportiness of a Lamborghini and all terrain capability of a Hummer. The Tumbler made its first appearance in “Batman Begins” and is reappearing in “Dark Knight.” The vehicle is 15 feet long and 9.5 feet wide. The newly designed vehicle does away with the previous wing designs and instead takes on the form of a sleek tank like design that is ready to take on any super villain’s weaponry. The Tumbler features 44 inch mud tires, a 5.7 liter Chevy V8 engine, a jet engine with vector control capable of propelling the vehicle 6 feet vertically and 40 feet horizontally. The Tumbler is slower than previous Batmobile’s, but is still capable of doing 266 mph and 0-60 in 5.3 seconds on all types of terrain. The vehicle also features a stealth mode that makes it difficult to detect in dark environments.


The aircraft here is referred to simply as the Bat. It is an unconventional, lightweight violantor-like craft with a ventrally mounted rotor. Developed by Lucius Fox, the Bat was originally intended for close-quarters urban military operations, but instead becomes Batman’s new primary vehicle. Batman first uses the Bat to escape pursuing police officers after being cornered in a dark alley. Immediately after, he uses it to rescue Selina Kyle from Bane’s henchmen. Later, Batman uses the Bat in the fight to retake Gotham City from Bane, and in the film’s climax, he uses the Bat to haul a fusion bomb away from Gotham City, where it detonates over the ocean and presumably kills him.  In order to make the Bat “fly”, it was variously supported by wires, suspended from cranes and helicopters, and mounted on a purpose-built vehicle with hydraulic controls to simulate movement.


(Not a good shot, bike in fast motion)

Key features include 20 inch front and rear tires and an engine mounted in the hubs of the wheels. The bike was designed by Nathan Crowly who also designed “The Tumbler” Batmobile and is evident in its sleek design and fat tires. The Batpod is rumored to be steered by the shoulders, leaving the arms protected by armor. Other features that can can see include grappling hooks, a cannon and machine guns.

Information on the above transportation taken from the internet.

See more entries to FrizzText’s blog on Story Challenge: Letter “T”.



21 Responses to “STORY CHALLENGE: LETTER “T””

  1. The bike ride looks dangerous.

  2. Very interesting information about the vehicles. Not something one woul ordinarily see on the streets. Thanks for sharing

  3. Fascinating Francene———–what a talent you are and thank you for sharing. Hope to see you at another meetup. Are you going to the Chartiers valley c.c. luncheon?

  4. i absolutely loved that movie– any Batman movie in fact — the rides were beyond cool!

  5. That’s a great way to spend an afternoon!

  6. Great post, Francine! I love checking out movie sets when they’re filming here. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Interesting! Igh! I do not want to be on the motorcycle though. 🙂

  8. That is THE BEST Batmobile ever!

  9. My grandsons would like this one, Francine! COOL.

  10. How cool to see this! You always have something to cool to share with us. I love it!

  11. Tumbler or Batpod – thank you for this amusing look into the future of macho-transportation …

  12. Interesting vehicles. Enjoyed looking at what you managed to capture. Must have been interesting to see.

  13. Aren’t you lucky! COOL is the word Francine 🙂

  14. Fabulous opportunity, Francine. Great pics. 🙂

  15. great movie location shots Francine

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