The wingspan of a bird or an airplane is the distance from one wingtip to the other wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777-200 has a wingspan of 60.93 metres, a wandering albatross caught in 1965 had a wingspan of 3.63 metres, the official record for a living bird. The term wingspan, more technically extent, is used for other winged animals such as pterosaurs, insects, etc. and other fixed-wing aircraft such as ornithopters. In humans, the term wingspan refers to the arm span, distance between the length from one end of an individual's arms to the other when raised parallel to the ground at shoulder height at a 90º angle. Former professional basketball player Manute Bol stands at 7 ft 7 in and owns one of the largest wingspans at 8 ft 6 in; the wingspan of an aircraft is always measured in a straight line, from wingtip to wingtip, independently of wing shape or sweep. The lift from wings is proportional to their area, so the heavier the animal or aircraft the bigger that area must be; the area is the product of the span times the width of the wing, so either a long, narrow wing or a shorter, broader wing will support the same mass.
For efficient steady flight, the ratio of span to chord, the aspect ratio, should be as high as possible because this lowers the lift-induced drag associated with the inevitable wingtip vortices. Long-ranging birds, like albatrosses, most commercial aircraft maximize aspect ratio. Alternatively and aircraft which depend on maneuverability need to be able to roll fast to turn, the high moment of inertia of long narrow wings produces lower roll rates. For them, short-span, broad wings are preferred; the highest aspect ratio man-made wings are aircraft propellers, in their most extreme form as helicopter rotors. To measure the wingspan of a bird, a live or freshly-dead specimen is placed flat on its back, the wings are grasped at the wrist joints and the distance is measured between the tips of the longest primary feathers on each wing; the wingspan of an insect refers to the wingspan of pinned specimens, may refer to the distance between the centre of the thorax to the apex of the wing doubled or to the width between the apices with the wings set with the trailing wing edge perpendicular to the body.
In basketball and gridiron football, a fingertip-to-fingertip measurement is used to determine the player's wingspan called armspan. This is called reach in boxing terminology; the wingspan of 16-year-old BeeJay Anya, a top basketball Junior Class of 2013 prospect who played for the NC State Wolfpack, was measured at 7 feet 9 inches across, one of the longest of all National Basketball Association draft prospects, the longest for a non-7-foot player, though Anya went undrafted in 2017. The wingspan of Manute Bol, at 8 feet 6 inches, is the longest in NBA history, his vertical reach was 10 feet 5 inches. Aircraft: Scaled Composites Stratolaunch — 117 m Aircraft: Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" – 97.51 m Aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya - 88.4 m Bat: Large flying fox – 1.5 m Bird: Wandering albatross – 3.63 m Bird: Argentavis – Estimated 7 m Reptile: Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur – 10–11 m Insect: White witch moth – 28 cm Insect: Meganeuropsis – estimated up to 71 cm Aircraft: Starr Bumble Bee II – 1.68 m Aircraft: Bede BD-5 – 4.27 m Aircraft: Colomban Cri-cri – 4.9 m Bat: Bumblebee bat – 16 cm Bird: Bee hummingbird – 6.5 cm Insect: Tanzanian parasitic wasp – 0.2 mm
In everyday use and in kinematics, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity. The average speed of an object in an interval of time is the distance travelled by the object divided by the duration of the interval. Speed has the dimensions of distance divided by time; the SI unit of speed is the metre per second, but the most common unit of speed in everyday usage is the kilometre per hour or, in the US and the UK, miles per hour. For air and marine travel the knot is used; the fastest possible speed at which energy or information can travel, according to special relativity, is the speed of light in a vacuum c = 299792458 metres per second. Matter can not quite reach the speed of light. In relativity physics, the concept of rapidity replaces the classical idea of speed. Italian physicist Galileo Galilei is credited with being the first to measure speed by considering the distance covered and the time it takes. Galileo defined speed as the distance covered per unit of time. In equation form, v = d t, where v is speed, d is distance, t is time.
A cyclist who covers 30 metres in a time of 2 seconds, for example, has a speed of 15 metres per second. Objects in motion have variations in speed. Speed at some instant, or assumed constant during a short period of time, is called instantaneous speed. By looking at a speedometer, one can read the instantaneous speed of a car at any instant. A car travelling at 50 km/h goes for less than one hour at a constant speed, but if it did go at that speed for a full hour, it would travel 50 km. If the vehicle continued at that speed for half an hour, it would cover half that distance. If it continued for only one minute, it would cover about 833 m. In mathematical terms, the instantaneous speed v is defined as the magnitude of the instantaneous velocity v, that is, the derivative of the position r with respect to time: v = | v | = | r ˙ | = | d r d t |. If s is the length of the path travelled until time t, the speed equals the time derivative of s: v = d s d t. In the special case where the velocity is constant, this can be simplified to v = s / t.
The average speed over a finite time interval is the total distance travelled divided by the time duration. Different from instantaneous speed, average speed is defined as the total distance covered divided by the time interval. For example, if a distance of 80 kilometres is driven in 1 hour, the average speed is 80 kilometres per hour. If 320 kilometres are travelled in 4 hours, the average speed is 80 kilometres per hour; when a distance in kilometres is divided by a time in hours, the result is in kilometres per hour. Average speed does not describe the speed variations that may have taken place during shorter time intervals, so average speed is quite different from a value of instantaneous speed. If the average speed and the time of travel are known, the distance travelled can be calculated by rearranging the definition to d = v ¯ t. Using this equation for an average speed of 80 kilometres per hour on a 4-hour trip, the distance covered is found to be 320 kilometres. Expressed in graphical language, the slope of a tangent line at any point of a distance-time graph is the instantaneous speed at this point, while the slope of a chord line of the same graph is the average speed during the time interval covered by the chord.
Average speed of an object is Vav = s÷t Linear speed is the distance travelled per unit of time, while tangential speed is the linear speed of something moving along a circular path. A point on the outside edge of a merry-go-round or turntable travels a greater distance in one complete rotation than a point nearer the center. Travelling a greater distance in the same time means a greater speed, so linear speed is greater on the outer edge of a rotating object than it is closer to the axis; this speed along a circular path is known as tangential speed because the direction of motion is tangent to the circumference of the circle. For circular motion, the terms linear speed and tangential speed are used interchangeably, both use units of m/s, km/h, others. Rotational speed involves the number of revolutions per unit of time. All parts of a rigid merry-
The delta wing is a wing shaped in the form of a triangle. It is named for its similarity in shape to the Greek uppercase letter delta. Although long studied, it did not find significant applications until the jet age, when it proved suitable for high-speed subsonic and supersonic flight. At the other end of the speed scale, the Rogallo flexible wing proved a practical design for the hang glider and other ultralight aircraft; the delta form brings aerodynamic characteristics. Many design variations have evolved over the years and without additional stabilising surfaces; the long root chord of the delta wing, minimal structure outboard, make it structurally efficient. It can be built stronger, stiffer and at the same time lighter than a swept wing of equivalent lifting capability; because of this it is easy and inexpensive to build – a substantial factor in the success of the MiG-21 and Mirage aircraft. Its long root chord allows a deeper structure for a given aerofoil section, providing more internal volume for fuel and other storage without a significant increase in drag.
However on supersonic designs the opportunity is taken to use a thinner aerofoil instead, in order to reduce drag. Pure delta wings exhibit flow separation at high angles of attack and high drag at low speeds. At low speeds a delta wing requires a high angle of attack to maintain lift. A slender delta creates a characteristic vortex pattern over the upper surface; some types with intermediate sweep have been given retractable "moustaches" or fixed leading-edge root extensions to encourage vortex formation. As the angle of attack increases, the leading edge of the wing generates a vortex which energises the flow on the upper surface of the wing, delaying flow separation, giving the delta a high stall angle. A normal wing built for high speed use has undesirable characteristics at low speeds, but in this regime the delta changes over to a mode of lift based on the vortex it generates, a mode where it has smooth and stable flight characteristics; the vortex lift comes at the cost of increased drag, so more powerful engines are needed to maintain low speed or high angle-of-attack flight.
With a large enough angle of rearward sweep, in the transonic to low supersonic speed range the wing's leading edge remains behind the shock wave boundary or shock cone created by the leading edge root. This allows air below the leading edge to flow out, up and around it back inwards creating a sideways flow pattern; the lift distribution and other aerodynamic characteristics are influenced by this sideways flow. The rearward sweep angle lowers the airspeed normal to the leading edge of the wing, thereby allowing the aircraft to fly at high subsonic, transonic, or supersonic speed, while the subsonic lifting characteristics of the airflow over the wing are maintained. Within this flight regime, drooping the leading edge within the shock cone increases lift but not drag; such conical leading edge droop was introduced on the production Convair F-102A Delta Dagger at the same time that the prototype design was reworked to include area-ruling. It appeared on Convair's next two deltas, the F-106 Delta Dart and B-58 Hustler.
At high supersonic speeds the shock cone from the leading edge root angles further back to lie along the wing surface behind the leading edge. It is no longer possible for the sideways flow to occur and the aerodynamic characteristics change considerably, it is in this flight regime that the waverider technique, as used on the North American XB-70 Valkyrie, becomes practicable. Here, a shock body beneath the wing creates an attached shockwave and the high pressure associated with the wave provides significant lift without increasing drag. Variants of the delta delta wing plan offer improvements to the basic configuration. Canard delta – Many modern fighter aircraft, such as the JAS 39 Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale use a combination of canards and a delta wing. Tailed delta -- adds a conventional tailplane. Common on Soviet types such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Cropped delta – tip is cut off; this helps reduce wingtip flow separation at high angles of attack. Most deltas are cropped to at least some degree.
In the compound delta, double delta or cranked arrow, the leading edge is not straight. The inboard section has increased sweepback, creating a controlled high-lift vortex without the need for a foreplane. Examples include the Saab Draken fighter, the prototype General Dynamics F-16XL and the High Speed Civil Transport study; the ogee delta used on the Anglo-French Concorde Mach 2 airliner is similar, but with the two sections and cropped wingtip merged into a smooth ogee curve. Like other tailless aircraft, the tailless delta wing is not suited to high wing loadings and requires a large wing area for a given aircraft weight; the most efficient aerofoils are unstable in pitch and the tailless type must use a less efficient design and therefore a bigger wing. Techniques used include: Using a less efficient aerofoil, inherently stable, such as a symmetrical form with zero camber, or reflex camber near the trailing edge, Using the rear part of the wing as a lightly- or negatively-loaded horizontal stabiliser: Twisting the outer leading edge down to reduce the incidence of the wing tip, behind the main centre of lift.
This improves stall characteristics and can benefit supersonic cruise in other ways. Moving the centre of mass forwards and trimming the elevator to exert a balancing downforce. In the extreme, this reduces the craft's ability to pitch its nose up for landing. A conventiona
A fixed-wing aircraft is a flying machine, such as an airplane or aeroplane, capable of flight using wings that generate lift caused by the aircraft's forward airspeed and the shape of the wings. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft, ornithopters; the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft are not rigid. Gliding fixed-wing aircraft, including free-flying gliders of various kinds and tethered kites, can use moving air to gain altitude. Powered fixed-wing aircraft that gain forward thrust from an engine include powered paragliders, powered hang gliders and some ground effect vehicles. Most fixed-wing aircraft are flown by a pilot on board the craft, but some are designed to be unmanned and controlled either remotely or autonomously. Kites were used 2,800 years ago in China, where materials ideal for kite building were available; some authors hold that leaf kites were being flown much earlier in what is now Sulawesi, based on their interpretation of cave paintings on Muna Island off Sulawesi.
By at least 549 AD paper kites were being flown, as it was recorded in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission. Ancient and medieval Chinese sources list other uses of kites for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men and communication for military operations. Stories of kites were brought to Europe by Marco Polo towards the end of the 13th century, kites were brought back by sailors from Japan and Malaysia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Although they were regarded as mere curiosities, by the 18th and 19th centuries kites were being used as vehicles for scientific research. Around 400 BC in Greece, Archytas was reputed to have designed and built the first artificial, self-propelled flying device, a bird-shaped model propelled by a jet of what was steam, said to have flown some 200 m; this machine may have been suspended for its flight. One of the earliest purported attempts with gliders was by the 11th-century monk Eilmer of Malmesbury, which ended in failure.
A 17th-century account states that the 9th-century poet Abbas Ibn Firnas made a similar attempt, though no earlier sources record this event. In 1799, Sir George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift and control. Cayley was building and flying models of fixed-wing aircraft as early as 1803, he built a successful passenger-carrying glider in 1853. In 1856, Frenchman Jean-Marie Le Bris made the first powered flight, by having his glider "L'Albatros artificiel" pulled by a horse on a beach. In 1884, the American John J. Montgomery made controlled flights in a glider as a part of a series of gliders built between 1883–1886. Other aviators who made similar flights at that time were Otto Lilienthal, Percy Pilcher, protégés of Octave Chanute. In the 1890s, Lawrence Hargrave conducted research on wing structures and developed a box kite that lifted the weight of a man, his box kite designs were adopted. Although he developed a type of rotary aircraft engine, he did not create and fly a powered fixed-wing aircraft.
Sir Hiram Maxim built a craft that weighed 3.5 tons, with a 110-foot wingspan, powered by two 360-horsepower steam engines driving two propellers. In 1894, his machine was tested with overhead rails to prevent it from rising; the test showed. The craft was uncontrollable, which Maxim, it is presumed, because he subsequently abandoned work on it; the Wright brothers' flights in 1903 with their Flyer I are recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the standard setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics, as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight". By 1905, the Wright Flyer III was capable of controllable, stable flight for substantial periods. In 1906, Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos Dumont designed and piloted an aircraft that set the first world record recognized by the Aéro-Club de France by flying the 14 bis 220 metres in less than 22 seconds; the flight was certified by the FAI. This was the first controlled flight, to be recognised, by a plane able to take off under its own power alone without any auxiliary machine such as a catapult.
The Bleriot VIII design of 1908 was an early aircraft design that had the modern monoplane tractor configuration. It had movable tail surfaces controlling both yaw and pitch, a form of roll control supplied either by wing warping or by ailerons and controlled by its pilot with a joystick and rudder bar, it was an important predecessor of his Bleriot XI Channel-crossing aircraft of the summer of 1909. World War I served as a testbed for the use of the aircraft as a weapon. Aircraft demonstrated their potential as mobile observation platforms proved themselves to be machines of war capable of causing casualties to the enemy; the earliest known aerial victory with a synchronised machine gun-armed fighter aircraft occurred in 1915, by German Luftstreitkräfte Leutnant Kurt Wintgens. Fighter aces appeared. Following WWI, aircraft technology continued to develop. Alcock and Brown crossed the Atlantic non-stop for the first time in 1919; the first commercial flights took place between the United States and Canada in 1919.
The so-called Golden Age of Aviation occurred between the two World War
A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with a single main wing plane, in contrast to a biplane or other multiplane, each of which has multiple planes. A monoplane has inherently the highest efficiency and lowest drag of any wing configuration and is the simplest to build. However, during the early years of flight, these advantages were offset by its greater weight and lower manoeuvrability, making it rare until the 1930s. Since the monoplane has been the most common form for a fixed-wing aircraft; the inherent efficiency of the monoplane can best be realized in the unbraced cantilever wing, which carries all structural forces internally. By contrast, a braced wing has additional drag from the exposed bracing struts or wires, lowering aerodynamic efficiency. On the other hand, the braced wing can be made much lighter; this in turn means that for a wing of a given size, bracing allows it to fly slower with a lower-powered engine, while a heavy cantilever wing needs a more powerful engine and can fly faster.
Besides the general variations in wing configuration such as tail position and use of bracing, the main distinction between types of monoplane is how high up the wings are mounted in relation to the fuselage. A low wing is one, located on or near the base of the fuselage. Placing the wing low down allows good visibility upwards and frees up the central fuselage from the wing spar carry-through. By reducing pendulum stability, it makes the aircraft more manoeuvrable, as on the Spitfire. A feature of the low wing position is its significant ground effect, giving the plane a tendency to float further before landing. Conversely, this ground effect permits shorter takeoffs. A mid wing is mounted midway up the fuselage; the carry-through spar structure can reduce the useful fuselage volume near its centre of gravity, where space is in most demand. A shoulder wing is a configuration whereby the wing is mounted near the top of the fuselage but not on the top, it is so called because it sits on the "shoulder" of the fuselage, rather than on the pilot's shoulder.
Shoulder-wings and high-wings share some characteristics, namely: they support a pendulous fuselage which requires no wing dihedral for stability. Compared to a low-wing, shoulder-wing and high-wing configurations give increased propeller clearance on multi-engined aircraft. On a large aircraft, there is little practical difference between a high wing. On a light aircraft, the shoulder-wing may need to be swept forward to maintain correct center of gravity. Examples of light aircraft with shoulder wings include the ARV Super2, the Bölkow Junior, Saab Safari and the Barber Snark. A high wing has its upper surface above the top of the fuselage, it shares many advantages and disadvantages with the shoulder wing, but on a light aircraft, the high wing has poorer upwards visibility. On light aircraft such as the Cessna 152, the wing is located on top of the pilot's cabin, so that the centre of lift broadly coincides with the centre of gravity. A parasol wing aircraft is a biplane without the lower pair of wings.
The parasol wing is not directly attached to the fuselage, but is held above it, supported either by cabane struts or by a single pylon. Additional bracing may be provided by struts extending from the fuselage sides; some early gliders had a parasol wing mounted on a pylon. The parasol wing was popular only during the interwar transition years between biplanes and monoplanes. Compared to a biplane, a parasol wing has lower drag. Although the first successful aircraft were biplanes, the first attempts at heavier-than-air flying machines were monoplanes, many pioneers continued to develop monoplane designs. For example, the first aeroplane to be put into production was the 1907 Santos-Dumont Demoiselle, while the Blériot XI flew across the English Channel in 1909. Throughout 1909–1910, Hubert Latham set multiple altitude records in his Antoinette IV monoplane reaching 1,384 m; the equivalent German language term is Eindecker, as in the mid-wing Fokker Eindecker fighter of 1915 which for a time dominated the skies in what became known as the "Fokker scourge".
The German military Idflieg aircraft designation system prior to 1918 prefixed monoplane type designations with an E, until the approval of the Fokker D. VIII fighter from its former "E. V" designation. However, the success of the Fokker was short-lived, World War I was dominated by biplanes. Towards the end of the war, the parasol monoplane became popular and successful designs were produced into the 1920s. Nonetheless few monoplane types were built between 1914 and the late 1920s, compared with the number of biplanes; the reasons for this were practical. With the low engine powers and airspeeds available, the wings of a monoplane needed to be large in order to create enough lift while a biplane could have two smaller wings and so be made smaller and lighter. Towards the end of the First World War, the inherent high drag of the biplane was beginning to restrict performance. Engines were not yet powerful enough to make the heavy cantilever-wing monoplane viable, the braced parasol wing became popular on fighter aircraft, alth
Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Newton's third law. When a system expels or accelerates mass in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction on that system; the force applied on a surface in a direction perpendicular or normal to the surface is called thrust. Force, thus thrust, is measured using the International System of Units in newtons, represents the amount needed to accelerate 1 kilogram of mass at the rate of 1 meter per second per second. In mechanical engineering, force orthogonal to the main load is referred to as thrust. A fixed-wing aircraft generates forward thrust when air is pushed in the direction opposite to flight; this can be done in several ways including by the spinning blades of a propeller, or a rotating fan pushing air out from the back of a jet engine, or by ejecting hot gases from a rocket engine. The forward thrust is proportional to the mass of the airstream multiplied by the difference in velocity of the airstream.
Reverse thrust can be generated to aid braking after landing by reversing the pitch of variable-pitch propeller blades, or using a thrust reverser on a jet engine. Rotary wing aircraft and thrust vectoring V/STOL aircraft use engine thrust to support the weight of the aircraft, vector sum of this thrust fore and aft to control forward speed. A motorboat generates thrust; the resulting thrust pushes the boat in the opposite direction to the sum of the momentum change in the water flowing through the propeller. A rocket is propelled forward by a thrust force equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction, to the time-rate of momentum change of the exhaust gas accelerated from the combustion chamber through the rocket engine nozzle; this is the exhaust velocity with respect to the rocket, times the time-rate at which the mass is expelled, or in mathematical terms: T = v d m d t Where T is the thrust generated, d m d t is the rate of change of mass with respect to time, v is the speed of the exhaust gases measured relative to the rocket.
For vertical launch of a rocket the initial thrust at liftoff must be more than the weight. Each of the three Space Shuttle Main Engines could produce a thrust of 1.8 MN, each of the Space Shuttle's two Solid Rocket Boosters 14.7 MN, together 29.4 MN. By contrast, the simplified Aid For EVA Rescue has 24 thrusters of 3.56 N each. In the air-breathing category, the AMT-USA AT-180 jet engine developed for radio-controlled aircraft produce 90 N of thrust; the GE90-115B engine fitted on the Boeing 777-300ER, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Most Powerful Commercial Jet Engine," has a thrust of 569 kN. The power needed to generate thrust and the force of the thrust can be related in a non-linear way. In general, P 2 ∝ T 3; the proportionality constant varies, can be solved for a uniform flow: d m d t = ρ A v T = d m d t v, P = 1 2 d m d t v 2 T = ρ A v 2, P = 1 2 ρ A v 3 P 2 = T 3 4 ρ A Note that these calculations are only valid for when the incoming air is accelerated from a standstill – for example when hovering.
The inverse of the proportionality constant, the "efficiency" of an otherwise-perfect thruster, is proportional to the area of the cross section of the propelled volume of fluid and the density of the fluid. This helps to explain why moving through water is easier and why aircraft have much larger propellers than watercraft. A common question is how to contrast the thrust rating of a jet engine with the power rating of a piston engine; such comparison is difficult. A piston engine does not move the aircraft by itself, so piston engines are rated by how much power they deliver to the propeller. Except for changes in temperature and air pressure, this quantity depends on the throttle setting. A jet engine has no propeller, so the propulsive power of a jet engine is determined from its thrust as follows. Power is the force it takes to move something over some distance divided by the time it takes to move that distance: P = F d t In case of
RMIT University is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded by Francis Ormond in 1887, RMIT began as a night school offering classes in art and technology, in response to the industrial revolution in Australia, it was a private college for more than a hundred years before merging with the Phillip Institute of Technology to become a public university in 1992. It has an enrolment of around 87,000 higher and vocational education students, making it the largest dual-sector education provider in Australia. With an annual revenue of around A$1.3 billion, it is one of the wealthiest universities in Australia. It is rated a five star university by Quacquarelli Symonds and is ranked 17th in the World for art and design subjects in the QS World University Rankings, making it the top art and design university in Australia, its main campus is situated on the northern edge of the historic Hoddle Grid in the city centre of Melbourne. It has two satellite campuses in the northern suburbs of Brunswick and Bundoora and a training site, situated on the Williams base of the Royal Australian Air Force, in the western suburb of Point Cook.
Beyond Melbourne, it has a research site near the Grampians National Park in the rural city of Hamilton. Outside Australia, it has a presence in Europe. In Asia, it has two branch campuses in the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as teaching partnerships in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Europe, it has a coordinating centre in the Catalonian city of Barcelona; the antecedent of RMIT, the Working Men's College of Melbourne, was founded by the Scottish-born grazier and politician The Hon. Francis Ormond in the 1880s. Planning began in 1881, with Ormond basing his model for the college on the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution, Brighton College of Art, Royal College of Art, the Working Men's College of London. Ormond donated the sum of £5000 toward the foundation of the college, he was supported in the Victorian Parliament by Charles Pearson and in the Melbourne Trades Hall by William Murphy. The workers' unions of Melbourne rallied their members to match Ormond's donation.
The site for the college, on the corners of Bowen Street and La Trobe Street, opposite the Melbourne Public Library, was donated by the Victorian Government. The Working Men's College of Melbourne opened on 4 June 1887 with a gala ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall, becoming the fifth tertiary education provider in Victoria, it took 320 enrollments on its opening night. It opened as a night school for instruction in "art and technology"—in the words of its founder—"especially to working men". Ormond was a firm believer in the transformative power of education and believed the college would be of "great importance and value" to the industrialisation of Melbourne during the late-19th century. In 1904, it was incorporated under the Companies Act as a private college. Between the turn of the 20th century and the 1930s, it expanded over the neighbouring Old Melbourne Gaol and constructed buildings for new art and radio schools, it made its first contribution to Australia's war effort through training of returned military personnel from World War I.
Following a petition by students, it changed its name to the Melbourne Technical College in 1934. The expanded college made a greater contribution to Australia's effort during World War II by training a sixth of the country's military personnel—including the majority of its Royal Australian Air Force communication officers, it trained 2000 civilians in munitions manufacturing and was commissioned by the Australian Government to manufacture military aircraft parts—including the majority of parts for the Beaufort Bomber. Following World War II, in 1954 it became the first Australian tertiary education provider to be awarded royal patronage for its service to the Commonwealth in the area of education and for its contribution to the war effort, it became the only higher education institution in Australia with the right of the prefix "Royal" along with the use of the Australian monarchy's regalia. Its name was changed to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1960. During the mid-20th century, it was restructured as a provider of general higher and vocational education, pioneered dual sector education in Australia.
It began an engagement with Southeast Asia during this time. In 1979, the neighbouring Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy joined with RMIT. After merging with the Phillip Institute of Technology in 1992, it became a public university by act of the Victorian Government under the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Act 1992. During the 1990s, the university underwent a rapid expansion and amalgamated with a number of nearby colleges and institutes; the Melbourne College of Decoration and Design joined RMIT in 1993, to create a new dedicated vocational design school, followed by the Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts in 1995. That same year, it opened its first radial campus in Bundoora in the northern Melbourne metropolitan area. In 1999, it acquired the Melbourne Institute of Textiles campus in Brunswick in the inner-northern Melbourne metropolitan area for its vocational design schools. At the turn of the 21st century, it was invited by the Vietnamese Government