Previous theoretical investigations of translating cables have been focused on the sagged cable equilibrium referred to here as the minimum catenary. The minimum catenary is stable for finite translation speeds [1, 2] and asymptotically approaches a buckling instability as the translation speed tends to infinity . Experimental evidence presented in this paper validates this conclusion and the cable theory established in reference . A second translating cable equilibrium is predicted in which the cable stands in the shape of an arch. This equilibrium, referred to as the maximum catenary, collapses for low translation speeds but becomes stable for sufficiently high translation speeds. The stability of the high speed maximum catenary is confirmed by experiment. © 1989.
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