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Written in Fortran
Website web.mit.edu/drela/Public/web/xfoil

XFOIL is an interactive program for the design and analysis of subsonic isolated airfoils. Given the coordinates specifying the shape of a 2D airfoil, Reynolds and Mach numbers, XFOIL can calculate the pressure distribution on the airfoil and hence lift and drag characteristics. The program also allows inverse design - it will vary an airfoil shape to achieve the desired parameters. It is released under the GNU GPL.


XFOIL was first developed by Mark Drela at MIT as a design tool for the MIT Daedalus project in the 1980s.[1] It was further developed in collaboration with Harold Youngren. The current version is 6.99, released in December 2013. Despite its vintage, it is still widely used.[2]

XFOIL is written in FORTRAN.

Similar Programs[edit]

  • XFOIL was translated to the C++ language and integrated in the program XFLR5, principally for use on model aircraft design.
  • A MATLAB implementation called Xfoil for matlab has been written.
  • An unrelated program called JavaFoil may be used for similar analysis. It is written in Java.
  • Vortexje is an independent panel method implementation in 3D.
  • QBlade implements XFOIL via XFLR5 for use in wind turbine design.


  1. ^ http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/news/magazine/aeroastro-no3/2006drela.html
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 8, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]