I was making some cool fictional airplane designs and realized that most of my larger airplanes have a bay inside that stores a plane or two. But then I thought, is it even possible to make a plane exit and enter a plane mid-flight? Such a plane to enter another plane would need to have folding wings to take up the least space when stored, and also because the plane it is entering would have to be significantly larger to have a fuselage wide enough to fit a smaller plane's entire wingspan. Note that I am questioning if it is possible to do something NOT in an emergency, but as a tactic or for other reasons. That being said, the question differs from an emergency situation due to the fact that the question is implying that the operation be done over and over, and not in a risky, dangerous, last-resort fashion.
This mainly branches two questions: Is it possible for a plane to exit a plane mid-flight, and if it is possible for a plane to enter a plane mid-flight. Clearly the plane must enter and exit through the belly of the larger plane, because something like a large hydraulic arm would be necessary to "grab" the small airplane and allow it to fold its wings up before hoisting it into the plane. This came to mind after considering that the plane must folds its wings up before entering the plane, and it also must take at least 5 seconds to fully fold the wings. So, folding the wings mid-flight independently isn't a good idea: The plane will plummet without wings to lift it. And to exit a plane, I'm assuming the arm will have to hold the plane out of the bottom and allow it to fold the wings out before dropping it. But here's what challenges that idea: When the arm is holding the plane and plane's wings are extended, will the little plane's wings effect the flight of the Larger plane? (Since the arm is grabbing it, it is the equivalent of the large plane having two tiny wings below it) and also, what are the effects of dropping a plane mid-flight? Any help on this would be very, very appreciated.
Oh, and a side-question from the above: Would a plane large enough to fit another plane be large enough to reasonably carry the weight of that smaller plane? And if so, how will the larger plane fair considering the fact that such a hydraulic arm necessary for mid-flight entry and exit of the large plane must be considerably heavy?