Prior to the fairly successfull "Forrestal" super carriers, the interim giants were launched shortly after WWII, they were the Franklin D. Roosvelt, Coral Sea and Midway.
Midway served the longest.
All were initially constructed with straight Aircraft Decks and 18 or more singlegun dual purpose 5 Inch (38 or 50 cal) arrayed along the sides, as oppossed to the traditional dual mounts adjacent the "Island" or on separate "sponsons".
(Coral Sea as originally launched)
It was a helped to have "modeled" (in plastic and wood) these formidable ships while, at least, the Midway remained in service. No Models were ever produced of the 'uprgraded/angle deck "Midways" However, they were large enough to handle jet aircraft before modernization took place.
The above is a picture of Midway, post modernization, presumably at her home port of Yakusoka Japan or, perhap undergoing modernization in San Diego.
The class exceeded in displacement any prior US carriers and ALL Present and prior foreign carriers , such as Charles de Gaulle
in displacement and most other categories. the class tipped in at around 52,000 tonnes displacement,
FDR appears to have gotten the short end of the stick in terms of modernization and general condition and when the Time came to determine her fate when the Forrestal Class ships began to come on line.
Also, for reasons partially unknown, she did not stand up well to the rigour of sea duty, as did her sisters, and when a second upgrade was proposes for her, the Navy declined, as the new super carriers were begining to come on line.
The Class were built on the Hulls of the "Super Iowa" Montana class Battleships, never completed as such, much as the US's pre WWII carriers were completed on cancelled Battlecruiser hulls. (Lexington and Saratoga?)
The Washington Treaty forbade dreadnought contruction based on a scales for the major naval powers of the time so the cancelled Battle Cruiser Hull designs were used by the US and UK. for carrier construction, upon which there were no limits..
Some sense of size and scale can be drawn from seeing F-4 on the FDR's decks,
Converted Essex Class Carrier normally operated A-4s and F-8' leaving the larger planes (A3J, F-4, A3D) for operation from the larger Midway hulls, allthough I cannot say for sure that no A3D's (really an naval version of the twin jet USAF B-66 Nuclear Bomber, later converted to RB66)served on upgraded Essex Carriers.
This class was rumored to be heavily armoured and were thee first US Carrriers built from the ground up with armoured flight decks.
The necessity for armored flight decks was perhaps illustrated by HMS Illustrious during the ongoing battle to supply Malta. Without here armored flight deck she would not have survived the battle.
Carriers in US service were originally equiped with teak or mahoghany flight decks and consideralbly more vullnerable.
Enterprise, Forrstal and Oriskany woud not, it thnk have survived their self induced flight deck fires while on Yankee Station.