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Christmas Gift Guide

The fighting I

Essex-class

Concorde

Relax in the shade

Miniwheels

Interior

Analog

Going down?

F-16

A-12

Tomcat

Swing wings

Flight of the...

F-11A

Cougar

Tracer

Island

Seaguard

MiG-17

MiG-21

Ceramic glider

Heat shield

Aero

Cramped

Be careful.

Backseat drivers

Of an era

Quite a view

Captain's chair

Captain's sea cabin

Eyes on the road

SatNav

Hanger deck

Pretty flower

Original Avenger

Ball turret

For "kids"

Recovery

Officers' stateroom

Anchor chain room

Marine berthing

Pilot's escalator

Off limits

Galley

Scullery

A bit of decor

Cafe theme

Crew berthing

CIC

CIC reverse

Buttons and knobs

Ready room

Flight ops

Crypto

A whole room for...

Regulus

Growler

Sideways silo

Forward torpedo Bay

Navigation

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.

Officer's mess

CO

CPO quarters

Down periscope

Sonar

Crew mess

Bunks

Head

Water

Engine room

Aren't you glad you use dial(s)?

Aft torpedo room

Back to shore

Viewed from a sidewalk at the edge of Midtown Manhattan, here's USS Intrepid, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.

Iconic airplanes ranging from F-14 and F-16s, to the Concorde and the Space Shuttle, to the submarine USS Growler, are all on display.

Read on for a full photo tour of these epic vehicles and museum.

For the full story behind the tour, check out A tour of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Intrepid was commissioned in August 1943. After several decommissioning and recommissionings, it was finally decommissioned in 1974. She opened as a museum ship in 1982.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Still better looking than any modern airliner.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Tables and chairs let you relax under the Concorde for a bit. It's noticeable how small it is from down here.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I wonder if Concorde pilots would have bets if not to hit this wheel.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

You can't walk through the Concorde anymore without a special tour (which I wasn't able to do). So this, and the following image, are from a walk-through I did a few years ago.

Notice how narrow the cabin and seats are.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Rarely upgraded, the Concorde was one of the last commercial airliners with a Flight Engineer (the third seat).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The port aircraft elevator. You can ride this at specific times during the day.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This F-16 flew in Desert Storm, and starred in Iron Eagle.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Slightly smaller, and slightly faster, than the better known SR-71, the A-12 looks just like it at first glance.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison
Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This was the seventh F-14 built by Grumman. The Navy retired all remaining F-14s in 2006.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison
Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I didn't recognize this plane, and hadn't ever heard of the F-11F. Only 201 were made, and it was pulled from service after just a few years, but the Blue Angels flew them from 1957-1968.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Another oddball, a F9F-8 Cougar, which is a swept-wing version of the F-9 Panther.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I think these are pretty iconic too, with their big radome hat. This E-1B didn't fly off the Intrepid, but when restored was painted to look like those that did.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

During the summer, there's a line to get up into the Island (where the bridge is). Doesn't take too long, though.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A lovely Sikorski HH-52.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

About 12,000 of these were built, including many, like this one, built under licence in Poland.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Is that supposed to be a tiger?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Shuttle still looks cool, after all these years. This one, the Enterprise, was the first built, but never made it to space.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

It doesn't have the well-used look of the Endeavour (which is in LA).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The tail cap makes the Shuttle a little more aerodynamic for transport.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The interior of a Soyuz capsule. Not exactly roomy...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Do you think this warning saved any lives?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The guy who actually "drove" the ship was stationed behind where I'm standing, taking orders from the officers up here who could actually see where they were going.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Turns out, a lot of this equipment was taken from other ships of the era. So this wasn't necessarily what was installed on the Intrepid at the time of its decommission, but would have likely been found here at some point (like the radar display in the foreground).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Here you can see a few more of the plane/helicopters I didn't have the room to have full images of, like the Harrier (which I featured in my RAF Museum Tour). Going left to right from there, a HueySea CobraChickasaw, Seaguard, Kfir, and the others I showed earlier.

On the right are a F3H Demon and T-34 Mentor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

My car is from the 70's and it doesn't have any cupholders. So clearly the Navy got their money's worth.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Just off the Navigation Bridge is the Captain's Sea Cabin. Pretty short commute, that.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Just below frame is the wheel used to steer the ship, using one of these redundant compasses. The tubes are backup for backups, but ensure communication to other important areas of the ship even if power is lost.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Communications gear and a map table. The latter has New York harbor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The main Hanger Deck has been converted to a museum space. It doesn't even feel like you're on a ship, actually. Too huge and wide open.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Prop anyone? The Intrepid had four of these.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

A mint TBM-3E Avenger. This one was actually built by GM (hence the "M" designation).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

I've actually never seen one of these up close. This is off a different Avenger. Not sure I could even fit in there. There must have been some serious height and weight requirements.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Exploreum is an interactive area with a bit of history, science, and exhibits about life on navy ships and boats.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

One of the missions the Intrepid performed in its later life was as the recovery ship for Mercury and Gemini missions.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Not exactly lavish, but certainly a better living area than the enlisted men several decks below (which we'll see later).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

An entire room just for the chains for the anchors (basically). Foreword of this is the Hurricane Bow. It, like this room, was open to the elements originally, but later enclosed (as you see here).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Intrepid's compliment of Marines had their berths up near the forecastle.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

After moving the Pilot's Ready Room deeper into the ship for safety, they needed some way to get the pilots (wearing all their gear) up to the flight deck. So they put in this escalator.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

While the lease on the Intrepid is only $1 a year, the museum still has to maintain it. Many off-limits areas are probably that way because of cost to make them publicly accessible/safe. That yellow warning sign, for instances, says "Asbestos."

Tasty.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Here's how you prepare food for about 3,000 men...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

And here's how you do their dishes.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

In 1969 the mess was improved to add some color and "unique decor" to give the sailors something to look at besides "endless steel walls."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

In addition to the Western theme of the Second Class Mess, there was also the cafe theme seen here. All the materials were bought at yard sales.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

While the officers got reasonable bunk beds, the enlisted crew got squeezed in like this. Not much for privacy.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Combat Information Center, the brains of the outfit.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This is the opposite angle from the last photo, showing more what the crew stationed here were looking at all shift long. Check out the big headphones.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Why do I feel like a smartphone and some antennas could do all of this?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

After WWII the ready room was moved down here, around the corner from the CIC, (hence the need for the escalator shown earlier).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Who's where, when, and where are they going?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison
Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

This room was labeled, I'm not kidding, the Shoe Polishing Room. Yep, a whole room just to polish shoes.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Each sub in the Grayback class carried four Regulus I or two Regulus II missiles.

This should not be confused with Regula I, a notable space station.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Growler has an odd shape to it, for a submarine. Not quite the sort-of-boat shapes of WWI and WWI subs, yet also not the bullet-shaped modern subs.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The wings of the Regulus would fold up. As a sign of how quickly things moved in during the Cold War, the Growler was only in service for 6 years. By 1964 she was already obsolete.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Space is at a premium on these boats, hence the bedding in the torpedo room.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The box in the lower right is the inertial navigation system.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

As you'll see in a few of these pictures, the signs describing each room prevent descent photos. Oh well.

This, as you can see, is the Missile Checkout and Guidance Center, where, presumably, you can check out a missile for day trips, and help it figure out what it should do for a career.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Compare this with the luxury of the larger Redoutable.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The commanding officer's quarters.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Chief Petty Officer, the highest ranking enlisted man on the boat. He still has to share a room, but with a bit more space.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The periscope is set up so you can see out it.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Despite fictional portrayals, subs rarely use active sonar (i.e. "One ping only...), since it gives away their position.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Checkers eh? Not even a TV?

Though, I guess in 1964 what would you watch? No Blu-ray, certainly. DVD I guess. Satellite? No, that's crazy. Where would they put the dish?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Hope you like your neighbor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Most crew got to shower about once a month.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Unlike nuclear subs (with their essentially unlimited electrical power), potable water was a limited resource on diesel-electric subs. This is one of the distillers.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The Growler has three soundproofed, 2-stroke diesel generators. These either recharge the batteries, or power the electric motors (which are attached to the prop shaft).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

Three engines, three sets of controls and readout dials.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

The aft torpedo room. Two tubes, nine bunks. That's a Mark 37 torpedo.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison

For the full story behind the tour, check out A tour of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison
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