The Intrepid—docked at Manhattan’s recently rebuilt Pier 86—is a military ship turned turned military and space museum, offering exhibits and facilities on the enclosed hangar deck, as well as visitor access to crew quarters and other spaces previously off limits to the public. The Intrepid is also now connected to all four stair towers (one tower which includes a new elevator that can take visitors straight to the flight deck from pier level).
Most sensational of all is the Space Shuttle Pavilion, where the Enterprise—one of NASA's now decommissioned fleet of Orbiter Vehicles—is spending its hard-earned retirement. Along with exhibits that bring the real sounds and sights of stellar flight to visitors' eyes and ears, a Russian Soyuz TMA-6 space capsule is also located in the Pavilion, showing just how far we've come (and how much more comfortable being an astronaut is in this era)!
The outdoor flight deck, which contains over 30 vintage aircraft, also contains five new editions that include two 1950s-era helicopters, a pair of Soviet-designed MiG fighters and a Grumman F11F fighter that in the 1960s was part of the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team. Also restored and returned: the retired British Airways Concorde that was temporarily relegated to Floyd Bennett Field during the Intrepid's lengthy restoration, where it lost its nosecone after being hit by a truck!
Before becoming one of New York City's more unique tourist attractions, the U.S.S. Intrepid had long and distinguished career as one of the most successful, battle-tested ships in U.S. history, serving in World War II and both the Korean and Vietnam wars. The ship has most notably survived five Japanese kamikaze suicide attacks and has also been used twice as a recovery ship for NASA astronauts. It was finally decommissioned in 1974.
Now, together with the guided missile submarine U.S.S. Growler, the Intrepid Museum offers many excellent exhibits that range from actual artifacts to relevant installations about current events. You can even ride in their Navy Flight Simulators and the A-6 Cockpit Simulator!
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