Former Michigan linebacker Noah Furbush already has a degree in aerospace engineering, and soon will have a masters in engineering with a specification in space engineering.
Furbush’s football career may be over, but his intellect and skill-set will be in high demand for decades to come with the space and aerospace industry thriving from new and seemingly limitless innovations.
One innovation that has been more science fiction than reality throughout the past century has been the idea of a world with flying cars. Well, now we’re at a point where flying cars are becoming a reality in the not too distant future, and Furbush is playing a part in pushing the ball further down the field.
Furbush was the co-author of a recently published study by Ford Motor Company and the University of Michigan entitled “Role of flying cars in sustainable mobility.”
Using information from Airbus, Boeing, NASA, and other flying car prototypes, the study was able to create a physics-based model that computes energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for electric flying cars.
After calculating a wide variety of variables, the study was able to narrow down what parameters flying cars could be best utilized for.
According to the study, flying electric cars would have about 52% lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional cars in trips around 62 miles. These flying cars would be best utilized for longer commutes, not short Uber-like trips.
“Electrification of aircraft, in general, is expected to fundamentally change the aerospace industry in the near future,” Furbush said.
These flying cars would be especially useful in areas that are dense in traffic, specifically areas like the Detroit-Metropolitan area, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Miami to name a few.
“We drove I-94 every day into work over the summer. There was a lot of traffic on 94, it would be really nice if we could zip across over top of 94 on our way from Ann Arbor to Detroit,” Furbush said.
Other questions still remain, such as cost-effectiveness and consumer interest. Furbush also said that flying cars are in the infant stages of development and there’s a lot of room for creativity and development in the field.
This type of research is quite fascinating and Furbush is definitely at the forefront of his respective field, and his interest in it started in part thanks to a movie trilogy.
“I was obsessed with ‘Star Wars,’” Furbush said last year. “I wanted to be Han Solo flying the Millennium Falcon, just like a lot of kids.”
Same, Noah, same.
To read the study in its entirety CLICK HERE.