The François-Xavier Bagnoud Flight Vehicle Institute focuses on the analysis and design of flight vehicles in an educational setting. We support faculty and students in their study of airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites, and interplanetary missions. We work to promote humanitarian and sustainable applications of aerospace technology. We also engage in outreach to help get a new generation excited about the study of flight.


We are faculty and students with a love of flight. We study the analysis and design of flight vehicles. Our work is made possible by generous gifts from Countess Albina du Boisrouvray and the François-Xavier Bagnoud Foundation.


The FXB Flight Vehicle Institute supports:

  • The François-Xavier Bagnoud Fellows Program, a highly competitive fellowship for doctoral students in Aerospace;

  • The Center for Rotary and Fixed Wing Air Vehicle Design;

  • The François-Xavier Bagnoud Professorship of Aerospace Engineering, currently held by Professor Peretz Friedmann;

  • Hands-on design/build/test/fly courses and project teams;

  • Projects centered on improving the human condition through targeted application of aerospace vehicles and engineering;

  • Outreach activities at elementary, middle-school, high-school, and university levels.


The FXB Flight Vehicle Institute is housed in the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. The building is one of the premier educational settings for Aerospace Engineering in the United States, and is also home to the Wave Field landscape sculpture by Maya Lin.

HOW the FXB FellowS Program has helped me

"I investigate how, when and why birds morph the shape of their wings during gliding flight. The overarching goal of my research is both to inspire highly maneuverable and adaptable unmanned aerial vehicles as well as to contribute to our fundamental understanding of how birds fly. The FXB fellowship provides me the freedom and financial support to follow the science as new avenues for exploration are uncovered. This flexibility within research is invaluable and has already had a large impact on my career trajectory."