An experimental investigation of the vibration characteristics of a 60 deg conical shell model of a planetary entry vehicle is described and the results presented. Model configurations include the shell with or without one or two Z-ring stiffeners and with or without a simulated payload. Tests were conducted with the model clamped at the small diameter and with the model suspended at the simulated payload. Additionally, calculated results obtained from application of several analytical procedures reported in the literature are presented together with comparisons between experimental and calculated frequencies and meridional mode shapes. Generally, very good frequency agreement between experimental and calculated results was obtained for all model configurations. For small values of circumferential mode number, however, the frequency agreement decreased as the number of ring stiffeners increased. Overall agreement between experimental and calculated mode shapes was generally good. The calculated modes usually showed much larger curvatures in the vicinity of the rings than were observed in the experimentally measured mode shapes. Dual resonances associated with modal preference were noted for the shell without Z-ring stiffeners, whereas the addition of stiffeners produced resonances for which the model responded in two or more modes over different sections of the shell length.