Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum


Note: The 8th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (namely Airshow China) is being held in Zhuhai from 16th to 21st this November. Besides, I hope Space Shuttle Discovery could successfully finished her last mission. This post is dedicated to those who are concerning about the advancement in aerospace.

One week before, I went to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which locates on the west shore of Manhattan Island, close to the Central Park and Times Square (as shown in Fig.1 below). In Fig.1, the red circle indicates the location of Time Square and the yellow one on the right top shows the Central Park.

Fig. 1 Location of USS Intrepid (Green circle)

Zoom in the google map online, you can see the aircraft carrier with a Concorde supersonic passenger airliner (blue circle)  and a diesel-electric submarine USS Growler (SSG-577)(purple circle). Actually the arrangement of the aircrafts on the flight deck in the figure below was different from what I have seen. I am not sure how often Google Maps updates the data. At least a legend surveillance aircraft, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, was not on the map. Actually the blackbird and F-14 Tomcat were on the side close to 12th Avenue. When I first saw the aircraft carrier and the two planes at the corner of 12th Avenue and 46th Street, I thought that was Su-27 Flanker, a great and famous fighter made by former USSR and Russia. The vertical tails look very similar to each other. With the crackdown of Soviet Union, US also obtained several flankers from former USSR members for personal use and collection.

Fig. 2 Layout of Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Fig.3 British Airways Concorde

Fig.4 USS 577 Growler

Fig. 5 Lockheed A-12(SR-71 Blackbird)

Fig. 6 Grumman F-14 Tomcat

OK, let’s come back to the visit to the museum. After purchased the ticket, I went to the hanger deck, where I can see the interior structure of the aircraft carrier. Also, the history of the aircraft carrier and stuff related to the vessel, such as the Aurora 7 Capsule Replica could be seen on hanger deck. I did not pay much attention there, within half an hour I turned to the flight deck via the stairs. Several guns with different calibers could be seen on the way.

When I was standing on the flight deck, a special feeling came into my mind. Once upon a time, I had a dream about the aircraft carrier. China should have her own aircraft, which could help the People’s Liberation Army Navy to protect the maritime rights and interests, especially on East China Sea and South China Sea. A rumor said that a USSR/Ukraine made aircraft Varyag anchored in Dalian, China under reconstruction for military use. It seems to be unpredictable that how soon it could join the navy. I am proud of being the first standing on a real aircraft carrier among our group of military fans. It is regretable that the AC is not belong to China.

I am not going to introduce the aircrafts on the flight deck, because you can find more details about the exhibits on the wikipedia. A picture of Tomcat once was under a huge glass plate on my desk when I was in high school. The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon loaned from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. is one of the most popular fighter in the contemporary world. I am familiar with the Mig fighters from Poland and China. From childhood, I had the models of a series of Mig fighters at home. It is a pity that there was no F-15 Eagle, or F/A-18 Hornet on the deck. As for F-22 Raptor, the most advanced fighter in the world, I did not even have a wish to see it there. I heard that there was an F-22 air show around NYC before. Maybe I could wait for the next to catch the steal fighter with my new camera.

Fig. 7 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

I feel so lucky that I can see  the Royal Naval HMS Daring (D32) near the museum. After the visit I did research about the warship. The lead ship of the Type 45 or ‘D’ Class of air defence destroyer was declared officially in service at the end of July in 2010, since it was lauched  in 2006. The new destroyer visited US for a joint exercise with US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise(CVN-65)1. Unfortunately, on Nov. 10th, only two days after it went back to UK from US2, it has been forced to go into the dock with engine problems3.

Fig. 8 United Kingdom Royal Naval HMS Daring(D32)

References:

1. UK Navy’s HMS Daring conducts joint exercise with US aircraft carrier.

2.Daring Destroyer Returns From US Exercise.

3. Daring’s engines fail.

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One Response to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

  1. Hello, Exactly as you say.

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