Bond graph modeling techniques are used to develop a fully nonlinear heave mode model of a tracked air cushion vehicle incorporating a semiactive airbag secondary suspension. The governing state space equations were simulated for various deterministic guideway inputs and comparisons were made with the exact solution of the linearized equations. An experimental test stand is described which provides experimental corroboration of the mathematical models for the case of totally passive secondary suspension elements. Theoretical results are presented which demonstrate the superior vehicle ride characteristics with respect to passenger-guideway isolation provided by the combination of soft airbag springs and semiactive dampers.

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