Sunday, October 23, 2022

AJ Savage Wing and Fin Fold

 For an overview, see

To reduce weight, North American eliminated the customary pilot-actuated power folding of the wings (and in this case the fin) in favor of a post-flight installation of hinges and power supply (hydraulic actuator for wing fold and arm-strong for fin fold).

For the wings, an access panel over the inboard side of the wing fold joint was removed. Two hinges were then attached to the wing at the fold joint. A hydraulic actuator was mounted on the rear hinge, which was bolted to the upper wing surface. The pins connecting the inboard and outer wings were then removed to allow the wings to be folded.

Hydraulic power was provided by a hose connected to the aircraft's hydraulic system at the top of the engine nacelle.

When folded, the exposed wing joint looked like this:

Folding the fin required the temporary installation of a long, folding access ladder:

The upper standoff of the ladder hooked into two slots just forward of the horizontal stabilizer (this is the AJ-2 empennage that was retrofitted to AJ-1s):

Next, the actuator had to be attached, the bolts holding the fin on removed, and the hand crank turned to fold the fin (this illustration is the empennage of the original AJ-1):

A view from the front of the final folded configuration (the sailor hugging the tip tank is checking to be sure that it will fit through the hangar door):

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