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Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York – Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

After your visit to the command centre there are three main areas that are open to the public. Immediately below is the flight deck and under that is the hanger deck, below these are parts of the third and gallery decks

After you make your way back to the main deck you can wander between the rows of aircraft. Some of the aircraft like the F-14 and the Intruder look completely at home here, as they should. They have their wings folded back as they would have been on a carrier during active duty when they were not flying. Lots of the other aircraft from many different decades would never have flown from a ship. There are aircraft of UK, Russian and Israeli origin as well as all the home grown models. There are also plenty of examples of different types of helicopters on display.

If you like aviation then it’s nice to see some of these aircraft up close, especially ones like the A-12. This was the predecessor to the SR-71 ‘Blackbird’, which was for many years the super-secret and super-fast spy plane that the U. S. used to overfly unfriendly countries. It was built with speed and flying height in mind which makes for an interesting design but it does look a bit out of place among the other exhibits. The A-12' s size is quite small and with its extra-large engine pods it seems to be strangely shaped but still achieved what the designer wanted. While everyone looks at the sleek lines of Concorde parked nearby this plane could travel at more than twice the speed of the commercial jet.

Above the stern you will see the new Space pavilion which is a recent addition. Inside is the Space Shuttle Enterprise. It was never sent into space but it is certainly still an impressive piece of engineering. When you enter the pavilion you pass through what they call a ' sound scape' tunnel. Here you can listen to recordings of actual conversations between mission control and Enterprise pilots. The pavilion itself is large being around 250 feet long and about 65 feet high, with the shuttle positioned directly in the middle of this space. You can walk underneath and around it, and go onto a viewing platform at the nose to get a full view. However you cannot go inside so overall this is not as good as the exhibition at the KSC. As well as the shuttle there are also 17 smaller exhibit areas with photos and space hardware like the very small Soyuz TMA-6 space capsule. This section can be very interesting if you take the time to read all the information that is written by each exhibit. One thing you should know is that the Space Pavilion is not included with general admission price so you need to factor this in.

Now in part 4 we will go below deck and also look at the Growler.

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