Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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

We have always wanted to visit the Intrepid Museum and we had opportunity to do so last Sunday. We received free tickets from Bank of America under the Museums On Us program and we were pretty excited about it. The regular ticket price was $19.50 per adult, so we already saved ourselves $39.00!! It was such a nice spring day.The skies were blue and the weather was just perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The nearest subway stop is the 42nd St station. You can either catch a cab, bus or walk from the subway to the Intrepid. Since it was a such nice day, we didn't mind walking. Checkout some of the daffodils and white cherry blossoms that we saw along the way. Spring is definitely here!

It was already lunch time and we were getting hungry. So, we stopped at one of the Shish Kebab carts to get a Hot Italian Sausage Dog. It's so funny that he stopped cooking to pose for the photo!

This is a close up of the Hot Italian Sausage Dog. He sliced the Hot Italian Sausage and put some ketchup and mustard (which I didn't want) inside. The taste? Truthfully, it was one of the worst dogs ever! Kevin seems to like it but it tasted weird to me. We couldn't even tell if it was beef, pork, chicken or who knows what. Rat maybe? Hahaha. It wasn't cheap either, set us back $12 for two dogs.

Ok ok, you must be thinking, isn't this post supposed to be about the Intrepid? I guess I got carried away. After the dogs, we arrived at the Intrepid at last! It's located on Pier 86, at 12th Avenue and 46th St. The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid was built in 1943 and served tours of duty spanning from WW II through the Vietnam War. During that time, she also survived five kamikaze attacks, several bomb attacks and one torpedo strike!! Not just that, she also served as a NASA astronaut recovery vessel before retiring in 1974. Pretty cool huh? No wonder the line was sooooo long to get it. Once you get in the door, there is still a long line before the ticket booths. Thank God it was a fast moving line. I think it took us only about 15 minutes to get in.

Once we have passed through the Welcome Center, we were ushered out to the Pier. This is where you can choose to go on the USS Intrepid, checkout the Growler Submarine or the British Airways Concorde. We decided to head to the aircraft carrier first, since that's the main attraction. It was recommended that we start from the Flight Deck, the highest level of the aircraft carrier. So, Flight Deck it was....Welcome Aboard!

The Flight Deck is every boys dream (maybe some girls too). It holds the Intrepid Museums aircraft collection, about 30 airplanes and helicopters. It's a mix of US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, Coast Guard as well as some foreign aircrafts. I must admit that yes, I guess it's pretty exciting to see all those cool aircrafts up close but I really didn't know what they are, who they belong to and which war it was used in. Kevin on the other hand was very excited and he had to answer all my "what's this, where is this from, and who flew it" questions :P Here is Kevin standing in front of the Vought F-8K Crusader. It's a US Navy aircraft and was the first supersonic fighter designed for carrier use. The one next to it is the Grumman A-6F Intruder and the one with the red stripes is the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The F-14 Tomcat was the Navy's first line fighter from 1972- 2006. This is the same type of aircraft that was featured in the movie Top Gun.

Here is a photo of us standing at the bow of the Intrepid with view of the Manhattan skyline behind us. Remember the movie "I am Legend"? Neville (played by Will Smith) was hitting golf balls off an aircraft carrier? Well, it was on the deck here at the Intrepid.

This is a U.S Coast Guard helicopter. The HH-52 was the first turbo-shaft helicopter, flies at 104mph and it has rescued more people than any other helicopter in the world.

I took a picture of this helicopter because I thought that is was very cute :P Kevin later told me that it's a AH-1 Cobra and it was used during the Vietnam War. It was the first helicopter that was designed especially for the ground attack role and it has a top speed of 219 mph. The pilot flies from the rear of the cockpit and the gunner is in front, controlling the mini gun and grenade launcher. Kinda cool, huh? :D

Here is a fleet of colorful foreign aircrafts. The first three are from the Soviet Union. There are also some from Italy, Israel, Russia, France as well as England. I was trying my best to remember when it was flown and stuff like that but I was slowly losing interest (information overload :P). I think there was a Blackbird and Viper from the Air Force too but I didn't take a photo of it.

After walking through all the interesting aircrafts, we reached the stern of the aircraft carrier. What an amazing sight. This must have been the view of the aircraft carrier that pilots got back in the day when they landed their aircrafts. I must say that I was really impressed with the size of the aircraft carrier. I didn't expect it to be soooo big! If I am not mistaken, it's about 912' in length.

We are done checking out the flight deck. Now, we are going into the Navigation Bridge as well as other decks of the Intrepid. Wanna join us? Stay tuned for the next post....
Also check out:

No comments: