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A Hot Day
for a Taxi Ride...|
By 9:30 a.m. it is already more than 90°F,
and the inappropriately chirpy voice on the radio tells us that we
are heading for a "heat factor" of 108° today. It is going to be a
dog day afternoon in Manhattan.
The traffic slowly snakes beside the
Hudson River until the unlikely sight of a moored aircraft carrier
looms into view ahead. This is the USS Intrepid, a WWII Essex Class
carrier that was recommissioned as a modern angle-deck vessel in
1954. This involved reconfiguration and fitting with steam
In 1982, the Intrepid was rescued
from the scrap yard and moved to the Hudson River to begin its new
life as a floating aviation and aerospace museum. This historically
significant carrier is joined at its mooring by the first
guided-missile submarine, the Growler; and the Destroyer, USS Edson.
Exhibits on the Intrepid are many
and varied. The hangar deck contains an A-4B Skyhawk, and Avenger,
Hellcat, a replica Helldiver and much more. Visitors may conduct
their own audio-guided tour of the other features of the aircraft
carrier, including the bridge, the Captains cabin, the radio room
and the Combat Information Centre.
The day is blistering by the time we
venture onto the flight deck, but there are plenty of distractions
from the heat. The biggest surprise, in every sense of the word, is
an SR-71 Blackbird parked near the bow. Now there is a
carrier take-off I would like to see!
The other incongruities are an F-16A
and a MiG-21. Most of the remaining exhibits look more at home on
the deck, including a Phantom, a Crusader II, A Corsair II, the
F-14B Super Tomcat, and some very cool examples of 1950s aviation
technology from both sides of the Atlantic - a Supermarine Scimitar,
a Fury, Sky Warrior, Vigilante, Sky Knight, two F-11s. The
list goes on. All the exhibits are clean and well maintained, with
barriers providing a good close-up view of the subjects.
continued in Part Two.
Click the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
My thanks to Steven
Eisenman and family for their hospitality during my New York visit..
Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by
Created 27 July 2002
11 August 2002
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