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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
The Intrepid Air and Space Museum, New York

Trip to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, New York

In September 2012 I spent 5 blissful days in New York before heading onto the Caribbean for a cruise with Royal Caribbean. There is so much to see and do in New York but we managed to fit everything on our "to do list" in; visiting the Intrepid Air and Space Museum was one of these things. If i'm truthful I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was - I love war memorabilia, planes and tanks, but the main draw to the Intrepid was the fact that the Enterprise space shuttle would be there; I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

Location

Ok so first things first - the Intrepid is the "USS Intrepid" i.e. an ex military Aircraft carrier!!! How awesome is that?? This museum fought in World War 2 and Vietnam! The whole museum is based inside the carrier and on its flight deck.

The Intrepid is docked on the Hudson river on 12th Avenue and West 46th Street. There is no subway line that goes really close to the Intrepid - the closest stations are 42st Port Authority and 50st - both of which are roughly 4 blocks away - Easily walk-able if you have the time. We got a taxi from our hotel which didn't cost too much and was less hassle. Ticket fee's at the time of visiting (2012) were around $25 each - this included the Space Shuttle Pavilion.

The USS Intrepid - once a feared war combatant AA guns of the USS Intrepid Aircraft carrier fighter plane the F9 Cougar

Inside the Intrepid

The interior of the Intrepid houses a host of interactive attractions and displays, and some actual vehicles from various different eras. The interactive displays are quite a lot of fun, and also educational – You can see how a jet engine works, sit in a rescue helicopter and watch various movies about the history of the Intrepid. As you walk outside to the top deck there are some awesome guns and also a replica of the shuttle pod's that the intrepid collected from sea from the Gemini and Mercury space missions.

The top deck

The top deck was my favourite part of the museum – being ontop of an aircraft carrier that has seen action was cool to start with, and seeing the skyline of New York from a different perspective was also an experience, and finally seeing the array of planes & helicopters on display was the icing on the cake.

IAI Kfir Isreali fighter plane Interior of the Aircraft carrier control stack Russian MiG 21 fighter jet

There were some amazing planes and helicopters on show including a Blackbird (spy plane!!!!), MiG, Huwie, Harrier, F14, F16 and an AH1 Cobra - I literally drooled over these, especially the British ones and the Blackbird - I have looked at photos of these pieces of aviation history, to see them up close was brilliant. The bridge and control tower are also accessible on the deck, you can walk through the various rooms and look at the intact equipment - it really was fascinating to see the workings of such an important vessel.

MiG 17 fighter plane

Space Shuttle Pavilion

To the end of the flight deck is the new addition to the Intrepid - The Space Shuttle pavilion, this houses the Enterprise - A retired Space Shuttle that was used primarily for testing purposes such as landing and re-entry but never actually went into space. This iconic piece of technological ingenuity was a great sight to see in the flesh, steeped in history and intertwined with the NASA space program it really was a treat to see the Enterprise on display.

USS Enterprise space shuttle on proud display USS Intrepid flight deck and bridge USS Growler submarine with cruise missile!

USS Growler submarine

Finally once you have finished the tour of the Intrepid, you can have a guided tour around the USS Growler - a decommissioned cruise missile submarine. To think that this submarine had the capability to launch cruise missiles with nuclear warheads was quite sobering. The guided tour was really interesting - the guide took us through the various parts of the submarine including the missile bays and crew quarters, and gave us a wealth of information about the submarine and its operations. The only downside to this tour was the waiting time, and the submarine itself was quite hot so make sure you have some water.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Intrepid air and space museum - It was a really interesting and enjoyable day out and was something different from the other sight seeing stints we had done in New York. For people who are not overly interested in that kind of thing, I would not recommend it - You really have to be interested somewhat in either the military, the navy or aircraft to get the most out of the museum.

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