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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A line on the surface of the earth that cuts all meridians at the same angle. It appears as a curved line on the surface of a sphere. Only one such line may be drawn through any two points. Although this is not the shortest distance, the direction is constant. Normally, flights of less than 1,000 NM distance follow the rhumb-line track, whereas flights of a longer distance follow the great-circle track. Also called an equiangular spiral, loxodrome, loxodromic curve, or Mercator track.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved