After taking a look at two lesser known aviation museums (one in Dubnica nad Vahom in Slovakia and another in Budapest in Hungary) I am going to review one of the most famous aviation museums, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum located in New York City, that I had a chance to visit last December.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this museum is the fact that it is located on a retired aircraft carrier. The museum features an extensive collection of military aircraft including the SR-71 Blackbird. For me, the two exhibits that made me want to visit the museum the most, however, were a British Airways Concorde and a Space Shuttle.
This time, I decided to change the format of the article a bit, and start with a “walk” around the museum followed by some additional information like the opening times, access, etc.
So let’s start!
Inside the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Outside the ship itself, on the pier is a British Airways Concorde, G-BOAD. To me personally, this is the highlight of the museum.
Once you get onboard, you can explore the ship and its decks. While some parts of the ship are kept in its original condition to show what it was like to work onboard the ship, other areas are converted into exhibit space.
The main indoor exhibit space – what used to be a hangar during the ships heyday – contains a couple of military aircrafts and a spacecraft.
There is also a number of smaller but no less important exhibits such as a piece of Japanese aircraft that did a “kamikaze” attack on the ship during the war, and an optical landing system.
Outside, on the flight deck that once used to be the runway and “apron” of the ship, you can find an extensive display of military aircraft from various eras and countries. To me, the most interesting were a MiG-17 of the North Vietnamese air force, and SR-71 Blackbird – the record-holder for being the fastest airbreathing manned aircraft.
(To see the complete list of aircraft displayed at the museum, check this nice illustrated guide prepared by the museum.)
At the far end of the flight deck, there is the Space Shuttle Pavilion where you can see not only the Space Shuttle “Enterprise” itself, but also other exhibits related to space exploration. There is also a gift shop with space-themed items.
While the above does not show all the exhibits that are displayed at this great museum, it should give you a good idea of what to expect if you decide to go there.
…and definitely visit the museum if you are ever in a situation when you have half-a-day in New York to spare!
Location & Access
The museum is located in Midtown Manhattan. The two nearest metro stations are the 50th Street Station and the 42 St – Porth Authority Bus Terminal Station. It is about 15 minutes walk away from either of them. There are also buses that go closer – for more details about those, check the directions in Google Maps.
Personally, I just got there using Uber. Which, depending on where you are staying might be the quickest option in spite of the slightly higher price than public transportation.
Between November 1 and March 31, the museum is open daily from 10AM until 5PM.
During the spring and summer seasons, between April 1 and October 31, the museum is open from 10AM until 5PM on weekdays. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the opening hours are extended until 6PM.
While during my visit, the entrance fee was separated into admission into the museum and add-ons including a visit to the Space Shuttle Pavilion, the fee structure seems to have been simplified.
Now, it costs 33USD to enter the museum including the Space Shuttle Pavilion.
Have you visited this museum before? If so, which exhibit did you find to be the most interesting?