Where Do I Find MacFoil or Other Airfoil Software for the Mac - RC Groups
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Sep 16, 2011, 07:33 AM
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Where Do I Find MacFoil or Other Airfoil Software for the Mac

I was looking to see if there were any updates to MacFoil and found that the link for it,
no longer exists. Anyone know where MacFoil's gone to or what other airfoil software is around for the Mac?

- Jim
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Oct 05, 2011, 01:34 PM
I found it here:

It was mentioned in this thread:

Oct 05, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Thanks, that's helpful.

I can't seem to find a place to pay for the shareware though.

- Jim
Oct 05, 2011, 02:44 PM
Good point. I don't think the program is supported any longer by the author.
Jun 04, 2012, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for the link was able to download. Not sure how to use it. Is there somewhere I can get some help?
Took me a while to find your web link all others i tried were non existent when I clicked on them.

Ian Alstonville Australia
Last edited by iannybeany; Jun 04, 2012 at 07:06 PM. Reason: missed info
Jun 04, 2012, 09:42 PM
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Using Macfoil

Originally Posted by iannybeany
Thanks for the link was able to download. Not sure how to use it. Is there somewhere I can get some help?


If you have been able to install and run the program you found that it required you to wait 15 seconds or register. You most likely don't have a registration no. so just wait out the delay, I do.

(I am doing this from memory. )

Next you want to load up an airfoil. It must be in .dat format, which is a text file. You may use the typical MAC open file interface or click on something like AIRFOIL in the upper left corner of the window. Someplace on your system you must find an airfoil dat file, see below. If it will not load up and it is in the correct format see the NB note below. I believe there is also a Clark Y file that the installer includes. (I don't remember if it has an installer or just one of those 'drag this to your Applications Folder’ setups.)

You can set the units and the length of the diagram, add a thickest point line and a couple of other things. I figured them out by playing with it.

Finding Airfoil Data Files:

I am afraid you will need to know the names of airfoils for model airplanes to download their .dat files. A few examples are E193, Clark Y,
Here are two great sites for airfoils:

UIUC Airfoil Coordinates Database
Airfoil Investigation Database

.dat File Format

dat format is a text file with text describing the airfoil name in the first line followed by a blank line or not then the data. The data is in the format of 2 columns. Right column is the station number or the distance from the leading edge, sta. 1.0, to the leading edge, sta. 0, then back to the trailing edge, hopefully sta 1.0.

The left column has the distance above and below the chord line, which is the line from the trailing most point to the leading most point. Most of the time the second half of the data points are negative because the bottom of an airfoil is usually below the chord line.

N.B.: dat format is used for other programs so one of them may have userped the dat extension/file type and then you will have to look up how to change that for a MAC.

Good Luck
- Jim

PS I couldn't get the RC Groups interface to upload a .dat file, sorry.
Last edited by JimHSoars; Jun 05, 2012 at 08:30 PM.
Jun 04, 2012, 11:54 PM
Reduce the drama...
rick.benjamin's Avatar
Change the file name to airfoil.dat.jpg
Zip the file.
Jun 05, 2012, 12:21 AM
Reduce the drama...
rick.benjamin's Avatar
link for macfoil discussion
Public Domain Aeronautical Software (PDAS)
Xfoil by Mark Drela
Aerodynamics programs Virginia Tech
Airfoil Analysis
XFLR5 airfoil analysis tool
Jun 05, 2012, 05:12 AM
Registered User
Thank you for that info i will take some time and work through it and come back later to see if I need to ask another question. Just finding out how to use this site the information that is available is blowing my mind. Thanks to others who have added to this.
Aug 05, 2012, 11:11 AM
Registered User
Jim, I have used MacFoil for many years but have come up against a roadblock. First, let me point out that there is an error in your description of the data format. From the MacFoil HELP documentation:

"Airfoil data must be imported from a PLAIN TEXT file. More airfoil data than you'll ever know what to do with can be found at:


The airfoil data needs to be in the "Selig" format: the first line is an optional title, then there's a pair of points on each following line, first x then y. The first point should be 1.00, 0.00, which is the trailing edge."

So the station data is in the LEFT column, not the RIGHT column as you state.

Second, and here is the problem, the data file must be in PLAIN TEXT format. Over the years, Macintosh has changed their simple test editor app to SIMPLE TEXT and TEXT EDIT both of which must have subtle differences with the original PLAIN TEXT editor in the pre-OS10 operating systems. Even though I can download the files from the UUIC site, I cannot get them to be recognized by MACFOIL. I've downloaded some on-line apps like "REALLY SIMPLE TEXT" but they too must have small incompatibilities with the original Mac PLAIN TEXT. Any ideas of how to get around this problem? By the way, I can still use MACFOIL on my ancient eMac running OS9.2.
Aug 07, 2012, 12:04 PM
Registered User
I seem to have had a breakthrough on this problem and can now run MacFoil on my newest iMac running 10.6.8. Here's what I stumbled across:

1) Download REALLY SIMPLE TEXT from CNet. It's free. This mimics the original file structure that MacFoil was built around.

2) Download any .dat airfoil file from the UUIC data base.

3) Open the UUIC file from within the REALLY SIMPLE TEXT application

4) Use SAVE AS to save the UUIC file. I append an "RST" to the file name so I know that this is a text converted file. E.G. an "s8037.dat" downloaded file is renamed "s8037RST.dat"

5) From MacFoil open the new UUIC file converted using REALLY SIMPLE TEXT.

If you want to check that you did everything right, go to GET INFO for the UUIC file. If converted properly, the file type should read "Text Document". No other file type is compatible with MacFoil.

This was the key I was looking for for the past 5 years.
Aug 08, 2012, 08:03 AM
Registered User
[QUOTE=skyboi01;22380588]I seem to have had a breakthrough on this problem and can now run MacFoil on my newest iMac running 10.6.8. Here's what I stumbled across:
Thanks for this info I have copied it and placed in my Macfoil's folder... I love my Mac but have found that I couldn't get the Macfoils programme to work. I'm sure that this info will be the solution. well done.
Aug 09, 2012, 12:23 AM
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One other thing is Lion won't drive it,as all PPC programs are 'eliminated' so keep those Tigers running!
snow Leopard is the last driver for PPC base, as long as ( I haven't figured it out yet) the Migration stuff is done, and if you are running PPC an not intel drive
Aug 09, 2012, 05:40 PM
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I recently found that .dat files with Unix line endings look wrong to MacFoil. I converted them to Mac line endings via the Alpha editor. I don't suggest the Alpha editor as it's large and designed for software and webpage development from scratch. Perhaps the Really Simple
Text editor converts the document to Mac line endings.

- Jim

PS: I will try to post the different line endings etc later when I have time.
Aug 15, 2012, 07:05 AM
Registered User

MacFoil on Intel machines

I have MacFoil running successfully on Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.X) on an Intel iMac. Not sure I understand the comment about PPC machines and remaining with Tiger (OS 10.4.X)

Can someone confirm that indeed either Lion or Mountain Lion will not support older PPC-based programs? I don't want to lose this Macfoil capability again by upgrading my OS.

Again, I have MacFoil operating on an Intel iMac with OS10.6. The trick was the REALLY SIMPLE TEXT app.

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