As carrier-based airplanes got bigger, folding became more necessary. The basic size limitations were the length and width of the inline elevators and the height and width of the openings from the deck-edge elevators to the hangar deck.
Early on, hangar heights varied somewhat. Beginning with the Essex-class carriers and continued in the Midway-class, the height became standardized at 17' 6", which set the maximum height above deck of the folded wing tips. When the much bigger multi-engine nuclear-strike airplanes were added to the carrier's air groups, the vertical fin had to be folded as well. The first of these was the North American AJ Savage.
- To minimize weight, power folding was not incorporated. In order to fold the wings and vertical fin, hinges with a hydraulic actuator had to be bolted to the wings and a manually operated screw-jack actuator had to bolted to the tail. Note the ladder which was hung on the aft fuselage to provide access to the fin for the latter installation.
- Sailors with chocks are poised to place them athwart the wheels if necessary to stop the aircraft in place.
- Two tow tractors are ganged together to provide the horsepower to pull the big Savage into the hangar bay.
In any event, the AJs were rarely folded, much less taken to the hangar deck. The process of folding the airplane was determined in Board of Inspection and Survey trials to take 16 minutes with a four-man, well-trained crew, on land, with negligible wind. The time increased significantly when it had to be accomplished a pitching, windy deck. As a result, a Savage was only folded and taken below when it suffered an unfixable casualty and needed to be gotten out of the way. (Note that the tip tanks have been removed.)