• Jan 2, 2009
Click above to watch video after the jump

When automotive mad man Rhys Millen broke five vertebrae attempting to back flip the Red Bull trophy truck, it only made him want to try it again. The drift king set the stage for redemption on New Years Eve with the truck, ramp and huge crowd on national television for all to see. ESPN even had the obligatory live-cam shot of Millen's concerned wife to lend some extra drama to the daring jump. The magnificent Millen hit the ramp at speed, executed a near perfect back flip, then proceeded to roll his trophy truck. The rear passenger wheel touched down just before its parallel partner, resulting in a messy landing that left Millen's truck at its side.

Luckily, this time Millen walked away from the crash without any serious injuries, but his pride was still hurt. Millen did perform a mid-air back flip, but he doesn't count that for anything because "It's nothing unless you drive away." Fair enough. You know what they say, though, if you fall off the bike, you have to get back on and try again. Something tells us this isn't the last we've seen of Rhys Millen and back-flipping trophy trunks. At least we hope not. Hit the jump to see rolling footage of the back flip and crash.

[Source: YouTube]



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  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I question the need for a trophy truck doing a backflip. It doesn't interest me in the least. Lets see a boat do that and then you'll have my interest. Trucks seem to have lost their niche in motorsports.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, why bring logic into this!

        Man-card - revoked
        • 6 Years Ago
        @wtf99

        Of course there is no need to back flip a truck. There's no need to do any of these kind of stunts. It's just entertaining to watch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Motorcycle thing was way more impressive. Jumping the bike takes rider skill not just well planned physics and engineering. The Truck could be remote controlled as easily as it is piloted. Cant do the same with a bike.

      Now you have to be one crazy SOB to put yourself in the truck being flipped but still not as impressive as the bike stunt - which was awesome!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, I thought from the lack of video on this stunt that something really bad happened. All that seems to be available is people pointing video cameras at their TV screens for some reason, and this one from a spectator.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRCgNixPYfs
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not sure that this stunt is really possible without significant changes to the shape of the truck. Any roughly cuboid object has two stable axes of rotation, and one unstable one. The shortest axis is stable (think of a car happily spinning off a race track), and the longest (as in lots of stunts where a car does 'barrel' rolls). The middle-sized axis, however, is unstable. This means that the tiniest deviation in position or momentum at takeoff (and a longitudinal drive-shaft probably has a lot to answer for here - its gyroscopic effects would make the maths of this stunt very complicated indeed) will be amplified during the backflip. Hence the good looking takeoff but the nasty landing.

      You can verify this effect at home with anything that is a solid box with three different dimensions. Try throwing upwards and spinning a rubber (eraser), book, dvd case or similar object about the three different axes and see which is the most stable.

      What Rhys theoretically needs is either a truck that is taller than it is wide (think double-decker bus - he would then be rotating around the shortest axis) or that is wider than it is long (he would then be rotating about the longest axis).

      Of course, these assumptions are only completely relevant for cuboid shapes of uniform density. Perhaps by putting very heavy weights sticking out of the doors (or alternatively just have one attached above the roof) he could change the rotational characteristics to avoid that undesirable spin.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is what I meant to say!

        Thank you CPT Physics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it was a great attempt at a great trick. Not something I thought I would see someone try with a trophy truck so I am happy someone thought of it. I am sure he will pull this off...but he better hurry before someone else goes for it...he came mighty close and it makes that trick look that much more doable for people...great job though and happy he is safe this time...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone notice the lame jump on FOX airing at the same time? Evil Canevil's (sp?) kid jumped over the volcano at at a Casino in Vegas. Big freaking deal. He did it to commemorate when his dad did it. Of course his dad did it on a heavy Harley and not an enduro bike and he was doing a jump before the era of X-Games and such. Jumping over a volcano is just not that impressive anymore.

      FOX made it so dramatic it was comical. They had all these computer renderings showing him missing the jump and catching fire in the volcano - it was hilarious.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks to not having cable, i saw that bullsh*t... he didn't even jump the volcano.. he just flew through the air in front of it. LAME..
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pretty tough to have both rear wheels hit at the same time. I guess that is why this stunt is more common for motorcycles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm willing to go out on a limb and say the torque from the drive shaft caused the truck to roll in the other direction. Like why helicopters need tail rotors for counter tourque
      • 6 Years Ago
      Before he attempted the flip, it sounded like he wouldn't be able to land it and drive away. I didn't doubt he would get the flip, but had a good idea he wouldn't stick the landing and drive away.
      I thought the bike fall was more impressive again and you could tell he was too fast and far as soon as he fell from the "Arc de Triomphe." ESPN handled it all pretty poorly. It was obvious he broke his hand when he hit the ramp hard and they didn't even notice it even though he wanted attention for it and was holding it up for all to see. Meanwhile, he's trying not to cry and they interview him while his wife attends him wearing a white jacket she doesn't want to get blood on.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I noticed his hands stayed on the wheel the whole time. Ever notice race car drivers in the in-car videos release the wheel before impact to avoid breaking wrists and such?
        • 6 Years Ago
        According to news reports, he just went to the hospital to get the wound stitched, and he was back partying. I'm sure he was ready to cry due to the huge endorphine rush, that, and seeing his life flash before his eyes.
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