Intrepid Sea, Air Space Museum, New York, NY | CruiseBe
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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

History and museums
museum, culture, history, sightseeing

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a military and maritime history museum with a collection of museum ships in New York City. It is located at Pier 86 at 46th Street in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan. The museum showcases the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the submarine USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 supersonic reconnaissance plane, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Originally founded in 1982, the museum closed in 2006 for a two-year renovation of the Intrepid and facilities. The museum reopened to the public on November 8, 2008.



Early years

The museum opened in 1982 at Pier 86 after Zachary Fisher and his brother Larry Fisher, prominent New York real estate developers, and philanthropist and journalist Michael Stern succeeded in saving the Intrepid from scrapping in 1978. The USS Intrepid became a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

On August 8, 1988, this museum was awarded the USS Growler, a Grayback-class submarine, which carries the nuclear Regulus missile, by the United States Congress from the United States Navy. This ship is still on display at this museum (after extensive renovations in 2009).

The USS Edson, a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer was displayed as an exhibit that this museum from 1989 until 2004. This ship was returned to the Navy, and is now on display at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City, Michigan.

In 2001, the Intrepid served as temporary field headquarters for the FBI as it began its investigation of the September 11 attacks.

2006-2009 renovation

On October 1, 2006, the museum closed for repairs and renovations to both the ship and the pier. Intrepid was moved down the Hudson by tugboat to The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, New Jersey (previously the Military Ocean Terminal) to undergo restoration.

The scheduled move was delayed on November 6, 2006, when the ship's propellers stuck in the thick Hudson River mud, preventing the tugboats from moving the ship out of her berth. A second successful attempt was made on December 5, 2006, after extensive dredging operations. The aircraft carrier was later floated to Staten Island where her museum facilities were upgraded and expanded before returning to her renovated pier in Manhattan.

The carrier was towed back into place on the Hudson River on October 2, 2008, and reopened to the public on November 8. Additional aircraft are displayed on the flight and hangar decks and the British Airways Concorde was moved from a barge into an exhibit space on the pier.

Space Shuttle Enterprise

On December 12, 2011, ownership of the Space Shuttle Enterprise was officially transferred to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again. On April 27, 2012 Enterprise was flown to JFK International Airport and was moved by barge to the Intrepid Museum on 3 June 2012.

To make room for the Enterprise display, three aircraft are being transferred to the Empire State Aerosciences Museum near Schenectady, NY. These aircraft are a Douglas F3D Skyknight, a Royal Navy Supermarine Scimitar, and a MiG-15.

The Enterprise went on public display Thursday, July 19, 2012 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's new Space Shuttle Pavilion.

The exhibit was closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. The Pavilion and exhibit reopened on July 10, 2013.

Selected exhibits

US Air Force
  • An F-16 Fighting Falcon that flew in support of Operation Desert Storm
  • The first production Lockheed A-12 (predecessor of the SR-71A)
US Navy
  • USS Growler (1989), a diesel electric submarine which carried out nuclear deterrent patrols armed with Regulus missiles.
  • The seventh F-14 Tomcat built. It was used in 1973 as a Super Tomcat prototype
  • A-4 Skyhawk
  • A Beech T-34 Mentor trainer
  • TBM Avenger
  • E-1 Tracer
  • An F-11 Tiger that was once the number 5 jet on the Blue Angels
  • FJ-2/-3 Fury
  • F-8 Crusader
  • An A-6 Intruder that was used as a testbed for new radar and avionics in 1988
  • An F3H Demon, one of only three on display worldwide.
  • An F-9 Cougar that is currently under restoration
  • Piasecki H-25
  • Douglas A-1 Skyraider
US Marine Corps
  • F-4 Phantom II
  • AV-8C Harrier
  • AH-1J Sea Cobra
US Army
  • A Vietnam-era UH-1 Iroquois
US Coast Guard
  • Sikorsky H-19
  • Sikorsky HH-52 Sea Guardian
  • Aurora 7 Mercury capsule replica
  • Space Shuttle Enterprise (within a pavilion on the flight deck)
Other aircraft
  • British Airways Concorde G-BOAD (2004). This airplane set a world's speed record for passenger airliners on February 7, 1996, when it flew from New York to London in 2 hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds. This airplane logged the most flying hours (23,397) of the 20 Concordes built.
  • An Italian Aermacchi MB-339, painted in the colors of the Frecce Tricolori
  • A French Dassault Étendard IV
  • An Israeli IAI Kfir
  • A Polish built MiG-17
  • A Polish MiG-21
Other spacecraft
  • A Russian Soyuz descent module, which had docked with the International Space Station during the Soyuz TMA-6 mission
Other attractions
  • Exploreum, an interactive hall designed to educate children and adolescents about life on an aircraft carrier.
  • An Olympus 593 jet engine from a Concorde sits on display next to the G-BOAD Concorde.
Educational programming
  • The Museum hosts educational programs and events focused on STEM education


The Museum serves as an event space for community and national events. For instance, it held concerts during the 2013 MLB All-Star Weekend, and 2014's Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Museum docked cruise ship Norwegian Getaway, turned into the "Bud Light Hotel". The Museum serves as a hub for the annual Fleet Week events. Visiting warships dock at the cruise ship terminals to the north, and events are held on the museum grounds and the deck of the Intrepid.

In popular culture

In the film I am Legend, Will Smith's character is shown hitting golf balls off the Lockheed A-12 on the Intrepid towards a Manhattan parking lot in a deserted New York City. The actor was not allowed to stand upon the aircraft itself, however. The shot was achieved by building a scaffolding near the airplane for the actor to stand on and using the camera angle to achieve the desired illusion.


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