Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pre-NYCC Sightseeing: 3-Hour Cruise Around Manhattan Island

Guidebooks always encourage tourists to see a city by water, and the weather was perfect Wednesday, October 6, for Doug and me to take the Circle Line's 3-hour, 35-mile trip around Manhattan Island.

As the ferry returned to the Circle Line dock, Doug (far right) decided he wanted to tour the adjacent aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, open to the public on Pier 86. It was built in 1943 and served tours of duty spanning World War II through Vietnam - making 7 trips around the globe and surviving 5 kamikaze attacks, several bomb attacks and one torpedo strike. During that time the Intrepid also served as a NASA astronaut recovery vessel before being retired in 1974.

Initially flown in 1962, the Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird) was the product of Project Oxcart, a secret military program to develop a high-speed reconnaissance aircraft. The early A-12s were used for CIA surveillance missions until 1968. It had a top speed of 2,269 mph.

Another highlight of the Intrepid Museum complex was seeing the Concorde Alpha Delta G-BOAD, which flew 23,397 hours, made 8,406 landings and underwent 7,010 supersonic cycles. It cost $152 million dollars to build (in 1976 dollars). Its last flight took place on November 10, 2003.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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