This paper describes an experimental assessment of the transient performance of a multi-objective adaptive approach to the control of flexible rotors. This is applicable to any arrangement of controllable bearings or actuators. In the case reported here, the rotor is supported by active magnetic bearings. The theory underlying the controller is outlined. The objectives include minimization of the forces transmitted to the base while restricting rotor vibrations to a user-defined limit. A third objective is to prevent rotor contact with the auxiliary bearings, which are used to protect the active elements. These objectives are met by a two-stage weighting strategy followed by the adaptive control of two parameters that automatically and continuously adjust the weightings of individual objective functions to satisfy user-defined performance criteria.