The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is located on the banks of the Hudson River on Pier 86, 12th Avenue at 46th Street in Manhattan.
The USS Intrepid (CV/CVA/CVS-11) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and is the fourth Navy ship to carry that name. She was launched on April 26, 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company and served in every major conflict until being decommissioned in 1974. Following her decommissioning, Intrepid was destined to be scrapped, but a campaign led by real estate developer Zachary Fisher and the Intrepid Museum Foundation saved the carrier and opened it as a museum ship in August 1982.
On October 1, 2006, the Intrepid museum was closed to perform much-needed maintenance on the ship. Following a complex ordeal to free the ship from the mud at Pier 86, it was towed to a shipyard in Bayonne, NJ for painting, repairs and upgrades. The ship was towed back to a rebuilt Pier 86 and reopened on November 8, 2008. The most obvious differences are the new paint job, a handful of newly-opened sections and modification of many displays to be more interactive and child-friendly. I also miss the mannequin sailors, but I guess that's progress.
When the Intrepid Museum reopened in 2008, a new addition was a decomissioned British Airways Concorde. The Concorde was one of only two commercial jetliners that traveled faster than the speed of sound. It had a cruising speed of 1,350 MPH, a cruising altitude of 60,000 feet, and could travel between New York and London in around three and a half hours.
Interest in building a supersonic jetliner became active in the late 1950s and the expense of development lead to a collaboration between French and British governments and aircraft manufacturers that was formalized with agreements signed on November 29, 1962. The first flight of a Concorde took place on March 2, 1969. A certificate of airworthiness was granted in late 1975 and the first regularly-scheduled commercial flights began on January 21, 1976.
Problems with noise as well as extremely high operating costs plagued the Concorde from the beginning. American development of an SST was terminated by the government in 1971 primarily due to concerns about sonic booms. The Soviet SST, the Tu-144, was only used in commercial passenger service from 1975 to 1978, although the aircraft were used for testing as late as 1999. The penultimate blow to the Concorde was a spectacular crash in Paris on July 25, 2000 caused by fuel tank damage resulting from runway debris. Modified Concordes briefly returned to commercial service in 2001, but low post-9/11-demand and high maintenance costs lead to a cessation of commercial flights on May 30, 2003.
This Concorde, Alpha Delta G-BOAD, made its first commercial flight on August 25, 1976. It last flew on November 10, 2003 and was subsequently transported to the Intrepid Museum by barge. It was officially deregistered on May 4, 2004.
The USS Growler (SSG 577) is a diesel-powered submarine designed to carry the 56-foot-long Regulus nuclear missile. She was constructed in 1958 and remained on active duty for six years before being outmoded by nuclear submarines. After decommissioning, the Growler was placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet and was considered for use as a torpedo test target before being saved through the efforts of Zachary Fisher and joining the Intrepid Museum family in 1989.
The USS Edson (DD-946) was a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Colonel Merritt "Red Mike" Edson USMC (1897-1955), who was awarded the Medal of Honor while serving as Commanding Officer of the First Marine Raider Battalion. The USS Edson (no 'i') should not to be confused with the WW-II-era USS Edison (DD-439), which was named after inventor Thomas Edison. The Edson was launched January 4, 1958 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine. She was decommissioned in 1988 and served as a museum ship at the ISASM from 1989 until 2004, when she was replaced by the Concorde airliner exhibit. The Wisconsin Naval Ship Association reinstated the Edson as a museum ship berthed in the city of Sheboygan.
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