Industrial-scale centrifuges?

There is a commercial for the Ford F-150 where the truck is attached by its tow hooks to the arm of an enormous centrifuge, and then spun around until it’s near-horizontal.

I assume Ford did not build this thing specifically for the commercial, and that it is not a computer simulation, so - what are these large-scale centrifuges used for?

I have seen pictures of centrifuges used to expose pilots to high G-forces - but those are usually indoors. This thing was bigger and more industrial-looking - built mostly out of concrete, and outside.

Here you go. It’s the first of the 4 behind-the-scenes videos.

And, to actually answer the question rather than just post a link, it’s a modification of a machine usually used to test rocket motors.


That was pretty cool. In the last one, what was the vehicle with the camera mounted on it. I’m sure it was a Ford something but it looked like a Tahoe or a Jeep.

Well, gosh, that was so much more interesting and informative than my link. Thanks for posting that.

There are many reasons why I prefer NOT to click on these links, and I publicly thank Garfield226 for that post.

More specifically, the video says the commercial was shot at the NTS facility in Santa Clarita, CA. Here’s their news release.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has a similar centrifuge, normally used to test satellites and other space flight hardware. But it too has been used to test automobiles. (Actual safety tests, not commercials.)

What Keeve said. Not everyone wants to watch a video in order to extract the answer to the question.

Links to things like videos are certainly useful to explore an answer in depth and illustrate a point, but they shouldn’t take the place of an actual answer.

Thanks for the responses - man, that’s some effective marketing. Makes me want to go out and buy one of those just to beat the shit out of it.

The jist of an article in our paper a few weeks back was that Ford F-150 and 250s are the stolen vehicle of choice for coyotes (illegal immigrant smugglers) and drug runners along the Texas-Mexico border. Two reasons for that; (1) being that “Built Ford Tough” does mean something. They’re extremely durable and can be run across wilderness, fields and fences and will hold up better than most any other, and (2) the key didn’t used to contain an anti-theft chip, a situation that’s since been corrected. (The chip was available in other Fords, including the F-350, just not the 150 or 250.)

Kind of a strange testimonial source, but when you think about it it’s pretty telling.