The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City


Rusheel Mishra

The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is found in New York City. It’s along the Hudson River, at Pier 86 on 46th Street, in the Hell’s Kitchen area. The museum boasts a wide collection of fighter jets, precious memorabilia, and the latest simulation technology.

You enter the ship through an entrance that is found in front of the ship, and then take a series of steps to reach the hangar deck of the ship. That is where you first enter the ship. In the hangar deck, there is a movie theater where museum staff occasionally run shows about US naval history or history relating to the ship. There is also a 1:40 lego scale model of the Intrepid created by lego master Ed Diment.

The first aircraft that catches your eye on the hangar deck is the Grumann/Eastern Aircraft TBM-3E Avenger. This massive blue plane is a torpedo bomber that was first flown in 1941, and it became the US Navy’s standard torpedo bomber throughout World War II. The plane was also nicknamed the “Turkey” for its boisterous look. Another plane on the hangar deck is the North American FJ-3 Fury. Its role was as a carrier-based fighter meaning that it conducted operations from aircraft carriers like the USS Intrepid. Lastly, there is also a helicopter, the Piasecki Hup-2 Retriever. This helicopter was created by Frank Piasecki, one of America’s pioneer aeronautical engineers.

In addition, on the hangar deck, one can take part in the Kamikaze Experience. During the show, viewers watch a video about the kamikaze attacks on the USS Intrepid. Kamikaze attacks were when the Japanese military used planes as “missiles” to ram them into ships and other important targets. It was a notorious strategy used during World War II. During the show, there are some cool effects like mist coming out of the ground to simulate the smoke on the ship when one of the planes hit. The ending of the show remembers all the names of the people who died due to these kamikaze attacks on the USS Intrepid.

Further down on the hangar deck, one can learn more about the day-to-day lives of the naval officers. You can step into a fake model of the cockpit of an Intruder or walk around a mini-submarine learning about the US’s submarine history and how it all started with the Turtle, America’s first one-person submarine. The museum also has a submarine docked next to the ship which is called the USS Growler. The submarine was created by the US Navy so that it could be used as a nuclear deterrent by utilizing its cruise missiles. The key feature of the southern end of the hangar deck is the simulators.

There are two different simulators at the museum. The first is a 4D Experience that tells some famous stories of what happened aboard. The experience is paired with some really cool effects such as wind blowing into your faces, or the ground shaking. The other simulator is a G-Force simulator. It is supposed to simulate the extreme conditions that happen in a jet flying at high speeds.

Keep in mind that the museum is not only an air and naval museum but also a space one. The ship has a history of helping the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by picking up astronauts after they return from space. Famous astronauts featured include John Young and Scott Carpenter. The ship especially helped in a lot of NASA’s Gemini missions.

Throughout the hangar deck, there are also mini-exhibits where you can learn about more interesting topics such as the different types of chairs among the ship or the Missing in Action and Prisoners of War.

The deck below is the third deck. This is where you can find a food court as well as the original sleeping quarters for the officers aboard the ship.

The most important feature of the entire ship is the flight deck. Besides from getting a view of the New York skyline, you can see some of the most spectacular international fighter jets and helicopters: the F-8K Crusader, MiG-21 PFM, F9F-8 Cougar, F-4N Phantom II, Kfir, F-16A Fighting Falcon, and AH-1J Sea Cobra.

In addition to the array of aircraft and helicopters, there is a Space Shuttle Center where NASA’s Enterprise space shuttle is being held. The center also has a lot of space-related memorabilia from around the world.

The museum is open Monday through Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM besides all major holidays. I hope that after reading this article, you’re more interested in visiting the museum or learning more about the ship’s history.