In Pictures: The Aircraft of USS Intrepid
This week's In Pictures would probably appeal more to a smaller subset of geeks like me, the aviation enthusiasts (and anyone who likes planes and weapons), as I would like to feature the aircraft on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.
The Intrepid museum is housed in a World War II-era aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid, which was converted into an aviation museum. It is currently docked in Manhattan's Pier 86. Aside from the Space Shuttle Enterprise, the British Airways Concorde, the nuclear cruise missile submarine USS Growler, and the the Soyuz space capsule, the museum has a multitude of aircraft in its collection that would leave aviation enthusiasts like me salivating. I'm featuring some of the bad-ass ones, just like when I feature the paintings of the Met Museum in a post. Most of the aircraft are displayed on the carrier's flight deck, a few inside the hangar deck.
This aircraft above is my most favorite among the exhibits. Kept a secret for 40 years, the Lockheed A-12 is a spy plane built for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s. The plane, which can fly thrice the speed of sound, has a very distinct double-delta shape wings and chines along its fuselage. If you're an 80s kid, you may have seeb this aircraft in the movie D.A.R.Y.L.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The fighter aircraft displayed here saw action in Operation Desert Storm.
Also known as a jump jet, the British-designed Harrier can take off and land vertically.
The F-4 is an interceptor fighter used mostly by the US Navy and Marines. It saw action during the Vietnam War. Israel also used the Phantoms during the Arab-Israeli conflict.
When I was 12 years old, the Tomcat was my favorite airplane, largely because of the influence of the movie Top Gun. The F-14 is a carrier-based fighter aircraft, and the plane displayed here was the seventh to be built.
The Israeli-built Kfir is a multirole combat aircraft based on the French Mirage III jet.
There were two Soviet-era aircraft displayed here. One is the MiG-17, and the other is the MiG-21 jet fighter. The one on display served in the Polish Air Force.
Dassault Etendard IV
France is represented in the museum by the Dassault Etendard IV, which was introduced in 1962. Etendards were deployed in French aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch.
The unusually shaped Tracer is used by the US Navy as an airborne early warning aircraft. The big round thing on its back is a radome, which houses the radar.
The World War II-era Avenger was a torpedo bomber that saw action in the Battle of Midway and throughout the war. It targets Japanese carriers and battleships.
The Cobra is an attack helicopter in service since the 1960s (until today). Two variants are displayed here. One is the Sea Cobra, used by the Marine Corps, and the AH-1 variant, used by the US Army.
Sikorsky HH-52 Sea Guardian
The HH-52 is a search-and-rescue helicopter used by the US Coast Guard.
Aside from the aircraft mentioned here, the museum also has several other aircraft in its collection, including the Aermacchi MB-339, the A-4 Skyhaw, an F-11 that once served in the acrobatic team Blue Angels, and an A-6 Intruder, a carrier-based attack aircraft.
How to Get There
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is located at Pier 86 on Manhattan's west side, on 12th Avenue and 46th Street. You can take the subway to 42nd Street and walk or take a M42 bus to 12th Avenue.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm during fall and winter, and from Mondays to Friday during spring and summer, and until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays. Entrance fee is $20 for adults, $10 for children. Website: intrepidmuseum.org
by Kin Enriquez