Thursday, April 9, 2009

Intrepid - Sea, Air & Space Museum (Final Part)

After finishing our Gatorade in the Mess Deck, we headed out to the Pier. The newly renovated Pier looks real good. There are loads of cafe like tables and chairs as well as park benches for museum visitors to take a break or to have a picnic lunch. They even have free WIFI so that you can access the Internet if you need to. From the Pier, we can also check out the USS Intrepid's stern.You can see how the giant spool of thread mooring lines is used to tie it up to the dock.

As we continued to walk towards the end of the Pier, we were greeted by this magnificent British Airways Concorde Alpha Delta G-BOAD. We were pretty excited to see the Concorde up close. This Concorde was built in 1976 and cost $152 million dollars! That was a LOT of money back in 1976, hmmm come to think of it, that is lot of money even for NOW! :P It's the fastest and highest flying airliner in existence, taking less than three hours to fly from New York to London (half the time of regular airliners). Do not be alarmed by the dark black smoke behind the Concorde. The black smoke was coming from a brush fire in New Jersey :D

We were kinda surprise that the Concorde is actually very very slim. It has a max cruise speed of 1,350 mph (mach 2.04) and a cruising altitude of 60,000', high enough for it's passengers to see the curvature of the earth!! It's about 203' in length and a wingspan of 83'. The Concorde is powered by four Rolls Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 engines and is capable of covering 3,900 nautical miles without refueling. An interesting fact that we learned while we were there was the Concorde expands approximately 8 inches during flight due to friction heating. Wow! I didn't know that.

While it was in operation, more than 2.5 million passengers experienced the luxury of the Concorde Alpha Delta. It's so cool that we had a chance to actually go on board to see what it looks like inside. An average transatlantic fare was about $6,000! Wow $6,000! With $6,000, I can get five return tickets to fly home to Malaysia and back!! Another thing I noticed about the Concorde is that the windows are very very very tiny. Look at it. It just slighter larger than a passport. Something like the size of a large PDA. I guess it's so fast you won't have time to look out of the window!! :D

Upon entering the plane, we get to walk through the cabins. The Concorde can hold between 90 to 100 passengers. The seats looks really small and tight. The legroom was alright but the width of the seats were really small. Even the aisle was really tight. I would hate to be sitting in the aisle seat when the food cart is coming by :P Oh, what about if you really really need to go to the toilet and the food cart was there? Man, there is no way to go around it! Hahaha! Talking about the toilets on board, they are really small too!! If you think the regular airline toilets are small, you should checkout the Concorde's toilet.

On the way out of the plane, we had a chance to peek into the cockpit. So many buttons and knobs! The Concorde has a flight crew of two pilots, one flight engineer and six cabin crew. I guess one of the criteria for being a flight crew member, be it pilot or cabin crew is that you must be super skinny. I cannot imagine myself working in that tight and compact environment. No fatties please!

Protest from environmentalists prevented it's supersonic use over the United States and limited airport operations here. A crash upon take off in July 2000 grounded the fleet until 2001. The Concorde flew VIP passengers until 2003 and that's when both British Airways as well as Air France retired their fleets from service. Once we finished walking through the Concorde, we went to check out the little cafe/picnic area under the Concorde. You can just sit UNDER a Concorde for a cup of coffee or a snack. Isn't that wayyyy cool? Where else can you have a cup of coffee under the Concorde as well as enjoy the view of the Hudson River? Very very nice!

From the Concorde, we headed to the other side of the Pier to see the Growler submarine! We read in the museum guide book that we would be able to go aboard this diesel powered nuclear missile submarine. However, our excitement vanish when we saw a big sign saying that it was close for repairs :( Mannn, what a bummer. I read in some article online later on that it was undergoing some repairs because its hull was leaking. The Growler submarine will only be opened to the public in late May. Oh well, it was still cool to see a submarine up close. Here is a photo of the Gowler submarine as well as the 56 ft long Regulus cruise missile.

We headed to the Museum Gift Shop on the way out. There were the usual t-shirts, fridge magnets, key chains, shot glasses, post cards..ect for sale as well as Armed Forces inspired toys and books. They also had some space kits and models of ships and airplanes for children. Guess what we bought from the gift shop? :D

SPACE FOOD STICKS!! We bought one chocolate and one peanut butter flavor ($2.95 each). Yup, that's right. Astronaut food. They were actually developed as high protein energy snacks for early space missions. Kevin told me that he tried astronaut ice cream when he visited the Kennedy Space Center a long time ago when he was a kid. He said that it was yummy so we wanted to try and see if this is good too. The verdict? Boyyy, I have never eaten anything so gross before! We opened the chocolate stick first. It was a weird brown color (looks like poop) and when I tried to break it into two, it wouldn't break! It just bend into half and wouldn't break! I took a tiny bite and I was glad it was a tiny bite! It had this weird powdery texture, had some sort of plastic smell and tasted terrible! Yucks!! The peanut butter stick was even worse. It didn't taste like peanut butter at all!! Just some tasteless plastic smelling stick. Very very bad!!! :P Please remind me never to buy space food ever again. Hahaha!

Overall, we had a greeeaaat time at the Intrepid Museum. It was a very informative and interesting outing. The weather was perfect, with the sun shining brightly and a nice cool breeze was blowing. We had fun and would definitely recommend the Intrepid to anybody who is looking for something fun to do in NYC!

Also check out:


aahhh-CHEW!!! said...

SPACE FOOD STICKS!!! ... luckily you just took a small bite ... if not you would be running around like that Duracell Bunny!!! ... ahahaha ... these space food only taste good in space laaaa ... no??? ... perhaps they are just toys and not meant for eating??? ... ahahahaha ...

Charlene n Kevin said...

Hahahahaha!! No lerrr..not toy la:P I read the wrapper closely, rite? It says developed for early space missions. I guess the current day astronauts don't eat that anymore. Maybe they also don't like the taste!! Hahaha!

Anonymous said...

I love the swan puffs... I have never seen them before.. I can't wait to make them.. :)