Two means of providing a high quality air cushion ride at high speed using simple passive suspension systems are investigated. The inclusion of the proper amount of camber in guideway beams is shown to greatly reduce both low and high speed heave accelerations. A three-stage passively suspended vehicle including two degrees of pitching motion is shown to eliminate the high speed peak in accelerations present with two-stage vehicles. The effects of secondary and tertiary damping, of the vehicle to span length ratio, and of guideway camber on the ride quality of this vehicle are investigated. Coupled with cambered guideway beams, the three-stage passive suspension system appears to be an attractive alternative to active suspension systems.

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