The paper presents the experimental work developed by the authors for the identification of rotordynamic coefficients of air bearings. Air bearings work at very high rotation speeds and are known to have nonlinear dynamic characteristics depending at least on the excitation frequency. The paper presents two very similar test rigs, the testing procedure and the algorithm for identifying the rotordynamic coefficients. The test rigs consist of a rigid rotor guided by fixed bearings and driven by a spindle. The dynamic loads are applied by two orthogonally mounted shakers applying two linear independent excitations. Two air bearings are analysed in the present paper. The test procedure is first developed for a simple circular bearing with easily predictable dynamic characteristics. Its rotordynamic coefficients are identified by using a least square procedure based on rational functions. The coefficients are compared to theoretical results in order to underline the limits of the identification algorithm. The procedure is next applied to a first generation foil bearing. Rotordynamic coefficients are presented for different working conditions (static loads and rotation speeds) and are discussed comparing them to circular air bearings.