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MECH 532 - Aircraft performance, stability and control

Liaison librarian

  • Tara [dot] Mawhinney [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-4764
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Often in aeronautical engineering, one is faced with having to find information on a specific topic in preparation for doing work or research in the area. For example, say you are working on the topic of unmanned aerial vehicles for search and rescue. Before you start conducting your own research, you must start by searching what previous research exists on the topic.

Any approach to finding information must be multi-pronged: you may look at reference books, e.g. subject specific encyclopedias; search WorldCat for books; and do a targeted search for articles using research databases. These are discussed below in more detail.

Books on reserve

Here are books on short-term loan for MECH 532.

Doing research

  1. Start your research by searching in encyclopedias and other reference books, for example:

    Aeronautical engineer's data book, eBook
    Aerospace engineering on the back of an envelope, eBook
    AIAA aerospace design engineers guide, eBook
    Cambridge aerospace dictionary, eBook
    Concise encyclopedia of aeronautics & space systems,
    Print book
    Encyclopedia of space science & technology,
    Encyclopedia of systems and control,
    Handbook of space technology, eBook
    Handbook of unmanned aerial vehicles, eBook
    An illustrated dictionary of aviation, eBook
    NASA systems engineering handbook, eBook
    Standard handbook for aeronautical and astronautical engineers, Print book
  2. Use WorldCat to find books. For example:

    • Do a basic keyword search: unmanned aerial vehicles
    • Click on "Books" from the left-hand side of the screen to limit your results to books
    • Find a good book. For example:
      Advances in unmanned aerial vehicles, eBook
      Click on the title. You will see three subject headings listed in the Subject fields: Drone aircraft; Flight control; Kinematics.
    • Click any one of these subject headings to retrieve more books about that subject.
  3. Search any of these research databases to find journal articles or conference papers:

  4. Use McGill Library's list of article and research databases. Use of these databases is restricted to McGill users. For details about connecting to resources from off campus, click here.

    For example:

    • Search Compendex.
    • Search for journal articles and conference papers about: unmanned aerial vehicles search and rescue
    • Find the paper by Goodrich et al.:
      Goodrich, M. A., Cooper, J. L., Adams, J. A., Humphrey, C., Zeeman, R., and Buss, B. G., 2007, Using a Mini-UAV to Support Wilderness Search and Rescue: Practices for Human-Robot Teaming, Rome, Italy.
    • bibliographic record from Compendex Click on "Abstract" [1]; read the summary of the conference paper to make certain it's what you want. [Note that clicking on the Controlled terms will give you more articles about those subjects e.g. "Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)".]
    • Now you need to track down the paper. Click on the "Full-text" [2] or "Find It Find it bullet. McGill" [3] link. The pop up menu indicates that the library has the conference paper full-text online. Click on the link to open the paper.

Obtaining materials that are not available at McGill

McGill students and staff may order articles and books not available at McGill using COLOMBO (interlibrary loan).

There are no charges for ordering through COLOMBO; McGill subsidizes these services.

Please do not wait until it is too late for us to help you with COLOMBO.

Writing and referencing your research paper:

Consult these resources for tips on how to write a research paper. Click on the call number to find out where in the McGill Library the book is located.

Title Call number
Engineers' guide to technical writing eBook
Making sense : a student’s guide to research and writing : engineering and the technical sciences Print book
Pocket book of technical writing for engineers and scientists Print book
Style and ethics of communication in science and engineering eBook
Writing for science and engineering: papers, presentations and reports eBook

Writing Tools


EndNote citation software

  • You can download EndNote citation management software for free. With this software you can get references directly from many databases, such as Web of Science.
  • EndNote Web is also available at McGill University. To access EndNote Web you need to create a personal account. You may sign up for an account with your McGill email address.
  • There are library workshops given on how to use this software effectively.
  • Detailed step-by-step Guide to Using EndNote (.pdf).


  • If you are using LaTeX to create your document, you may want to make use of JabRef open source software for manage your references. 

AIAA Citation Style

  • Preparation of Papers for AIAA Technical Conferences gives information on how to cite your references using the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) style.  EndNote can automate the formatting of your references in AIAA  style.  You will find the output style by going to EndNote's Output Styles and searching for AIAA.  Click on Download. For Windows: Save the .ens file in C:\Program files\EndNote\Styles.
    For Macs: Save the .ens file in Applications:EndNote:Styles.

IEEE Citation Style

  • The IEEE Citation Reference gives information on how to cite your references using the IEEE Citation Style commonly used in engineering. A detailed guide About IEEE Style was produced by Murdoch University and provides detailed information on using this style.

The Chicago Manual of Style

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