Accessory Reviews
MacFoil Airfoil Plotter
By Greg Smith
Dec 24, 2003, 12:14

Macfoil Review

MacFoil is a shareware Macintosh airfoil plotting program developed by Dave Johnson. Here is a description of what MacFoil is from the MacFoil website at:

"MacFoil is a shareware Macintosh program that creates plots of airfoils, and is intended for builders of model airplanes. In addition to drawing the airfoil itself, it can also draw sheeting allowances and up to 10 spars or reference lines. It can create foam cutting templates including entry and exit ramps, washout (or washin) angles, and wire kerf compensation. You can edit an airfoil's thickness and camber, and export the modified airfoil data to a text file. You can also export an airfoil plot in DXF, EPS, or PICT format, and MacFoil prints at high resolution on printers that allow it.

MacFoil runs on any PowerPC Macintosh with minimum 800 X 600 screen resolution, MacOS 8.6 or higher (including Mac OS X), and CarbonLib installed."

I think that explains it pretty well. For me this is the best software for plotting airfoils on the Mac. It has all the functions you need and some you probably don't. Here are some of the features:

(Version 1.5):
Export plots in DXF, EPS, or PICT formats.
Dynamic redraw: the plot redraws automatically as you enter or change the plot parameters.
Foam cutting templates completely reworked, now including entry/exit ramps and wire kerf compensation.
Spars are now truly notched into the airfoil, and can be rotated so the spar surface is flush with the airfoil surface.
Visually compare two airfoils.
More plotting options: turn chord and/or camber line on or off, and optionally invert the airfoil.
Preferences for default units to use.
Runs native on OS X, and back to OS 8.6.

I am running my version (1.5) on OS X (Version at review time 10.3.2) but the older version is still available and it runs on any Mac with at least a 68020 processor, 512 k of ram to the application and System 7. I have been using the program for about 4 years and used the previous version quite a bit. It is capable but the new Carbon version has more functionality.

The program supports measurements in inches, centimeters, millimeters. Washout is adjustable in degrees with decimal. You can edit the camber and the thickness. Make ramps for the entrance and exit of the template and adjust template height as well as foam thickness. Printing result on my old Personal LaserWriter is excellent.

MacFoil comes with only one profile (Clark-Y) but you can download plots from many spots on the net. One of the best is:

Mike Selig's web site.

Again, you can get MacFoil at this address :

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