TsAGI is a transliteration of the Russian abbreviation for Центра́льный аэрогидродинами́ческий институ́т (ЦАГИ) or "Tsentralniy Aerogidrodinamicheskiy Institut", the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute. It was founded in Moscow by the pioneer of Russian aviation, Nikolai Yegorovich Zhukovsky on December 1, 1918.
Since 1925 and into 1930s, TsAGI developed and hosted Tupolev's AGOS (Aviatziya, Gidroaviatziya i Opytnoye Stroitelstvo, the "Aviation, Hydroaviation, and Experimental Construction"), the first aircraft design bureau in Soviet Union, and at the time the main one. In 1930, two other major aircraft design bureaus in the country were the Ilyushin's "unsystematic" TsKB (Tsentralnoye Konstruksionnoye Byuro, the "Central Design Bureau") and an independent, short-lived Kalinin's team in Kharkiv.
In 1935 TsAGI was partly relocated to the former dacha settlement Otdykh (literally, "Relaxation") converted to the new urban-type settlementStakhanovo. It was named after Alexey Stakhanov, a famous Soviet miner. On April 23, 1947, the settlement was granted town status and renamed to Zhukovsky. The Moscow branch of the institute is currently known as MAGI, or Moscow complex of TsAGI.
In 1965 in Zhukovsky an Aeromechanics faculty of MIPT was established under TsAGI; it has been preparing young specialists able to solve complex problems of the aircraft industry.