cruise

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cruise

i. Flight from the top of the climb to the top of the descent, carried out at speed and engine settings that result in fuel economy and a long engine life.
ii. A flight condition that permits an aircraft to operate smoothly and efficiently for a long period.
iii. When used in ATC (air traffic control) clearance, it means to authorize a pilot to conduct flight at any altitude from the minimum IFR (instrument flight rules) altitude up to and including the altitude specified in the clearance. The pilot may level off at any intermediate altitude within this block of airspace. Climb or descent within the block is to be made at the discretion of the pilot. However, once the pilot starts the descent and verbally reports leaving an altitude in the block, he or she may not return to that altitude without additional ATC clearance.
References in classic literature ?
A week spent among the Pamarung Islands disclosed no suitable site for the professor's camp, nor was it until they had cruised up the coast several miles north of the equator and Cape Santang that they found a tiny island a few miles off the coast opposite the mouth of a small river--an island which fulfilled in every detail their requirements.
Among other things, in the six exciting years of their marriage she had climbed Chimborazo with him, made a three-thousand-mile winter journey with dogs and sleds in Alaska, ridden a horse from Canada to Mexico, cruised the Mediterranean in a ten-ton yawl, and canoed from Germany to the Black Sea across the heart of Europe.
The six boats, spreading out fan-wise from the schooner until the first weather boat and the last lee boat were anywhere from ten to twenty miles apart, cruised along a straight course over the sea till nightfall or bad weather drove them in.