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If an airline flight is everything that happens in between your starting and ending gates. What is the generic term for each time the plane ascends or descends during an air route? In layman terms, what terminology would define the four '_____?' equally as four separate things.

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If the image below indicates the proper terminology for a flight. What is the hypernym for phase 3/4 and phase 6/7 of the air route?

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5 Answers 5

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There seems to be no single-word that combines "Takeoff" and "Landing".

However, there is the short form TOL. From Wikipedia's article, "Takeoff and Landing", we can read about different kinds of TOLs such as VTOL, CTOL, etc.

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  • The OP was asking about different things or it has been edited badly to be confusing.
    – Stan
    Jun 20, 2016 at 17:37
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    Thanks. This is the correct answer. The hypernym for take-off/ascending phases of air routes and landing/descending phases of air routes does not exist. I posted this same question in the Aviation SE. aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/29460/… Jun 20, 2016 at 21:17
  • @JosephMCasey - I disagree with your interpretation of the word hypernym. You're looking for some pseudo-inclusive-penultimate-category name (that might not exist, but the hypernym does: phases).
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:01
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    No where on that page (nor on "a finder") does the acronym "TOL" stand alone. VTOL, STOL, CTOL, etc.
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:38
  • @Mazura but phases encompasses more phases than just takeoff and landing (for example, cruising).
    – phoog
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:56
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As the question stands now (DST 16h45 Montreal, Quebec) the four different events indicated in segments of the standing question are defined generically as changes in altitude.

The events pictured could also represent acceleration (gain in altitude) and deceleration (loss of altitude) so long as there are no changes to the elevators or ailerons.

Changes to the power or throttle can also be used as terms in the context of your edits, changes, illustrations, and descriptions over the past few hours. In this context power-up or power-down might be used. Throttle forward or throttle back are terms I've heard also.

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  • acceleration, plus one. "If there is a change in speed, direction, or both, then the object has a changing velocity and is said to be undergoing an acceleration." –Wiki
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:46
  • @Mazura Acceleration and deceleration are not necessarily implicated in changing altitude. A descent could be effected by a single accelerative event in which the plane assumes a downward trajectory. It could then proceed with a constant velocity for the next 20 minutes while descending, at which point another acceleration begins the landing sequence. Furthermore, every course adjustment implies acceleration, so that word is not precise enough to answer the question. I'm voting +1 for "changes in altitude" which seems to be the concept the question is trying to name.
    – phoog
    Jun 20, 2016 at 23:02
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This Question has three different parts having three different answers.

The title asks What is the terminology for the things happening in between airline flights. The answer to such a vague question can be from "a layover" to "not much at all."

The question body asks for a generic term that can be equally applied for the four separate "events" as things. There's also phases, aspects, parts, etc.

The diagram blanks ask for (reading left to right) Ascent, Descent, Ascent, Descent. More simply stated the four could be Take-off, Landing, Take-off, landing.

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  • 1~8 are phases. Plus one. Category:Flight phases –Wiki
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 20:52
  • @Mazura OP asked for generic words not flight-related, per se. Thanx all the same.
    – Stan
    Jun 20, 2016 at 20:59
  • Uh. Not related to aerodynamics, or not related to flight? If they're not talking about aerodynamic flight, they shouldn't have used an aerodynamic vessel's info-graph. In space flight they're called stages.
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 21:02
  • @Mazura Thank you for that, too. Oh, there's my bus.
    – Stan
    Jun 20, 2016 at 21:05
  • "What is the generic term for each time the plane ascends or descends during an air route?" - I'm pretty sure planes "fly" to get where they're going, especially if they're ascending or descending ;) "generic" yes (hypernym). Not flight related: no.
    – Mazura
    Jun 20, 2016 at 21:08
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Maybe you can use transitionM-W

noun 1.b. a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another

Or translationODO

noun 3. formal or technical The process of moving something from one place to another

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  • "To transition from cruise to descend you have to reduce power, retrim the aircraft, and do a number of other things depending on the particular plane. This 'transition' from cruise to descent even has it's own check list..." –ScottinTexas
    – Mazura
    Jun 21, 2016 at 1:27
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Here are the main steps (not the procedures) in a flight: Plan your flight and reserve an airplane. File a flight plan if you will land at a distant aerodrome. Get enough gas for the flight. Get some extra gas. Contact Ground Control. Taxi to the approach. Contact the tower for permission to Take off. Accelerate. Lift off. Ascend to altitude. Fly to destination. Contact the destination tower for permission to land. Descend to altitude. Join the other planes in the landing circuit. Make your approach. Touch down. Taxi to the destination drop-off point or parking spot. Close your flight plan. Kiss the ground and thank heaven. Return the keys and pay for the rental. Complete your log.

The above illustration shows two legs of a single continuous flight with a delay called a layover.

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    What exactly is your suggested "single-word"?
    – NVZ
    Jun 20, 2016 at 17:06
  • A leg comprises a complete takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, and landing.
    – Jim
    Jun 20, 2016 at 17:31

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