Earlier this week photos of a strange looking new vehicle started leaking from The Dark Knight rises set. At the time no one was entirely sure what this thing was, let alone what it did, now we know what it did and we still aren’t entirely sure what it is.

Warning! What follows may be a minor Dark Knight Rises spoiler. Don’t continue if you don’t want to know.

The following video shows Batman’s new vehicle in action on the gritty streets of Pittsburgh, which is a stand-in for the gritty streets of Gotham. It seems clear that this is some sort of flying vehicle, but just exactly what kind is kind of hard to tell. It’s not a helicopter exactly, but I’m not sure it’s accurate to call this an airplane either. Take a look starting at around the 1:10 mark:

Whatever it is, this is definitely some sort of flying machine… I think. Actually if it’s a plane what’s it doing down so low in the streets. Could it be some sort of weird hovercraft? What propels it? Why does the back end of it look like a scarab? It’s hard to know what to make of this thing, or what it’ll even look like in the final version that actually shows up on screen.

Here's an even closer look at the machine, in a few photos taken by TMZ:

And here's one more photo, which you can find in high-res over at the Daily Blam:

And so we continue to scratch our heads over Nolan’s practice of filming this entire movie in front of curious fans armed with cameras. While I know there’s still a lot left for the director to show from The Dark Knight Rises, we’ve already caught Bane’s creepy voice, Catwoman’s questionable driving skills, a hospitalized Commissioner Gordon in an official studio teaser for the film, and countless shots of a snowy battle on the streets of downtown Gotham. Nolan knows what the term “Spoiler Warning” means, right?

And yet, part of me concedes that if he’s indirectly showing us all of this from Dark Knight Rises, that means he has ample amounts of Bat-footage of his tailored sleeve, waiting to blow our minds next summer. So, will this new vehicle be the infamous Batwing, the aerial vehicle we have seen in previous Batman films? Is Nolan putting a fresh spin on a classic vehicle, the way he stripped down the Bat-pod into a formidable, fat-wheeled beast of a bike? Or is this yet another diversion to throw us off the scent?

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