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The essential features of an ideal high-frequency ventilation (HFV) system are described, including wide frequency range, control of tidal volume and mean airway pressure, minimal dead space, and high effective internal impedance. The design and performance of a high-frequency oscillatory ventilation system that approaches these requirements are described. The ventilator utilizes a linear motor regulated by a closed-loop controller and driving a novel frictionless double-diaphragm piston pump. The ventilator performance is tested using the impedance model of J.G. Venegas (1986).