“Orbit” today is valid parlance for the pattern an aircraft maintains, for example when aiming a radar at the ground below, or waiting for its turn to land, or waiting for a chance to provide fuel to other aircraft.; anyway, for tactical reasons.
Oh? When did they start using that term? I always thought it was called a “holding pattern.”
An aircraft flying in a big circle while waiting to land isn't orbiting anything. It's just flying in a big circle.