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asked by (13 points)
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ABOUT .AFL File Extension License: 

Dear Laminar Research, I'm a young developer making an airfoil import export software for my App game. I wish more interaction between software. And the extension ".AFL" is simple and nice to use for airfoil wind tunnel plot data. The extension ".afl" is used by X-Plane and used by the Adobe for Font Metrics (AFM) software. It can be nice if we can use it as a standard exchange file format. I know how to import and export this extension. But my questions are:

  • Can I export plot data from my App software into .afl? Am I allowed to create .afl files?
  • Can I import into my App software a .afl file? Am I allowed to read .afl files?
  • Is X-Plane proprietary of this airfoil format? 
  • What kind of licence is it?
  • Or a better question is:  Can I make an App software application that writes export and reads import X-Plane  ".afl" file format for a better exchange of information between game software? 
  • Do I need to pay some kind of licence to  X-Plane? (or if you know else)

Thank Austin Meyer and all your team for so awesome product,

Sincerely, AM

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered by (148 points)

The X-Plane .afl file format is not protected by any patents or legal protection that requires a license - you are free to write code that reads and writes .afl files.

The .afl file is "proprietary" to X-plane _in that_ it is a format specific to X-plane, defined and controlled by LR for the purpose of X-Plane.  Therefore it is appropriate for you to read and write .afl files for import/export purposes, but it is a _bad_ idea to use it as your own internal file format, as any "extensions" you define to .afl will not be supported by X-Plane, resulting in massive incompatibility.

I do not think we have any file spec for the format.

I hope that answered your question!