Kevin — February 8, 2009, 11:10 pm

A Visit to the Intrepid

I decided a couple weekends ago to be a big stupid boy and go visit the USS Intrepid! YAY! Airplanes and big ships!

I got off the subway and started walking; I wanted to make sure I was headed in the right direction so I popped out the iPhone and did a search for the Intrepid. According to my iPhone, it should be…

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…Oh, right. It’s the giant carrier. The one right in front of me. Duh.

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It was a pretty crappy day, so the ship was pretty quiet, which suited me fine. You can crawl all over the thing – in the command tower, around the sides. Everything is welded shut (we wouldn’t want some joker bring in 88mm shells and blasting the hell out of the neighboring buildings, would we!

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There’s all sorts of cool planes on the deck. “MiG Alley” has these three MiGs (there’s a 15, a 17 and a 21 on display) and along with those you can check out a Israeli Kfir, a French Dassult, and a load of other cool jets.

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Frozen Hudson river!

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Once inside you can see all the different rooms – they have sheets of plexiglass up so you can see it “as it was” (and so people don’t presumably steal stuff). Here’s a flight ready room. You can just imagine Maverick and Goose sitting here, taking flak from the flight boss! God DAMNIT Maverick!

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Here’s where they would have told Maverick that he wasn’t allowed to fire until fired upon. Ghostrider, this is Strike! Move to angels 10 for bogie!

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Such an awesome movie.

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Look at this awesome radio setup! This sign was just sitting there without any explanation, so allow me! I’m a nerd, see, I know these things: The “Alert 5″ airplane (and I guess the Alert 15 or Alert 30, I’ve only heard it in the context of “Alert 5″ is a fully manned, fueled and armed strike fighter that sits locked and loaded on the deck of a carrier that can be wheels up and racing toward a target it less than 5 minutes. Doesn’t matter if it’s 45 degrees out, or pissing rain, some poor sucker has to sit there in his flight suit, holding his pee in, waiting for the order to get fired off the catapult to engage who or whatever the Captain decides is worthy of getting an AIM-9 Sidewinder jammed up its ass.

Maverick was the Alert 5 in the end of Top Gun, don’t you know. Before he went and saved Iceman from the pretend Mig28′s, which were actually F-5′s. Mig 28! Pffffft. There’s no such thing!

Anyhow, this is the crypto room – where nerds tried to crack the enemy codes and set cyphers for friendly transmissions. These guys were like the alpha hackers!

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Lots of white tubes everywhere inside.

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Long white hallway leading to the Galley! Maverick might have had a coffee here after a long day of kissing the razors edge, or perhaps a refreshing soda after riding his Kawasaki Ninja up the hill without a helmet.

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You know I bought a motorbike because of Top Gun? MAN that guy was cool. Like, he was cooler than cool. Not quite as cool as Parker Lewis – MAN, he was, like COOL – but pretty cool. If you know my past wardrobe history then you probably get the Parker Lewis reference.

I’m still kind of rocking the Parker Lewis look, come to think of it. I just have considerably less hair.

Anyhow! Bunks! Check these out!

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On the main deck inside we’ve got more cool planes. This A4 looks like it literally just rolled off the assembly line, except for the fact that it’s been stripped to the skin. No engine, no avionics, but man, it sure is pretty on the outside. Gorgeous plane!

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Here’s a TBF Avenger – our old pal Dubya (George) flew one of these, presumably when he wasn’t skipping off without leave. Aaah, George. We’ll miss you, buddy. You were a great president. Actually, no, you weren’t. You were useless! I’m amazed you managed to figure out how to fly one of these planes. They’re MASSIVE in person.

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There’s a nerdy tour going on under the Avenger; I skipped out on that. Nerds don’t take tours, we get nasty looks when we say stuff that reveals we know more than the tourguides. I know, it’s tough. It’s our lot in life.

Anyhow, outside there’s a Concorde!

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The Rolls Royce Olympus engines have been removed and you can actually see them inside a big glass case. My boss Doug actually flew on this thing! How rad is that!

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Inside the Concorde everything is encased in plastic. It’s a little silly looking.

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Anyhow, there we go – a trip to the Intrepid on a lovely freezing day!

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Now if I could only figure out why I can’t click to make the images bigger! Stupid WordPress upgrade. Ah well.

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