A classification of magnetic bearing systems is presented preliminary design configurations of selected different types are presented, analyzed and discussed. To cover a wide range of potential application, bearing systems capable of sustaining forces at 0.1, 10 and 1000 lb. force levels were studied. Cases were considered in which the load was undirectional radial or axial or combined. In aerospace applications, total weight of the bearing system is extremely important. For the purpose of relative ranking of the different design configurations, therefore, estimates were made of the weight penalities for the fixed and supported members, associated power supply and control equipment. Based on this criterion, cer tain configurations appear superior for example, bearing systems relying on permanent magnets in attraction to support 10 lb. axial force are estimated to weigh about thirty times less than a.c. electromagnets. Systems required to sustain both axial and radial loads of equal magnitude were studied. A permanent magnet arrangement combined with a servostabilized electromagnet has the lowest weight penalities for the three force levels considered when both are used in attrac tion. At the lowest force level 0.1 lb for a freely suspended system, the a.c. resonant cir cuit configuration approaches the permanent magnet in low weight penalty.