2016 NYC Trip Photos #14: War Wings III

F11F-1 Tiger!

This F11F-1 Tiger served from 1961 to 1963 as one of the Blue Angels. Now it’s retired and sunning itself in New York City.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

On our two trips last year, I found myself in the presence of two different aircraft collections: one at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, which keeps several full-size wartime plans suspended in midair inside a multi-million-dollar building; the other, at the unrelated National Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs, which is relatively newer and dreams of funding that same square footage someday.

We found the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum doesn’t have quite as large a fleet as those two, but the worthy assortment on its upper deck, lacking the specialized scope of those other two museums, includes vehicles from other wars and eras, not just World War II.

Side note while you’re scrolling through the photo gallery: film fans may recognize the Intrepid from its big scene in I Am Legend, in which our hero Will Smith hangs around the upper deck by himself and whacks golf balls toward Manhattan for fun. I guess that’s one way to pass the time after the apocalypse.

TBM-3E Avenger!

Most of the Intrepid‘s planes rest on the upper deck, but a few fit inside the hangar deck, including this TBM-3E Avenger that had cousins in both New Orleans and Colorado Springs.

Grumman F9F-8 Cougar!

The Grumman F9F-8 Cougar, in use during the late ’50s, carried Sidewinders but never saw combat. A later version was used for airstrikes in the early years of the Vietnam War.

A-6E Intruder!

You may have seen an earlier version of the A-6E Intruder starring in Flight of the Intruder alongside Danny Glover and Willem Dafoe.


Helicopters in the house: Sikorsky’s H-19 Chickasaw and HH-52A Sea Guardian, the latter in popular use by the US Coast Guard back in the day.


Helicopters, round 2: the UH-1A Iroquois (your standard Huey seen in every Vietnam War flick ever) and the AH-1J Sea Cobra, a popular model with the US Marine Corps and numerous overseas buyers.

AV-8C Harrier!

International planes of renown #1: the AV-8C Harrier, a late-’60s UK craft equipped with VTOL gear considered advanced for its time.


International planes of renown #2: Russia’s own MiG-17, some of which our side shot down over Korea and Vietnam in their respective decades.

F-16 Fighting Falcon!

If you have a keen eye for these things, you may have seen the F-16 Fighting Falcon in Iron Eagle and The Sum of All Fears, which I coincidentally just watched and regretted a few weeks ago.

Lockheed A-12!

The Lockheed A-12 was a sneaker, not a fighter, with reconnaissance cameras that could take photos from 80,000 feet. If they could snap crystal-clear, non-blurry cosplay pics in a poorly lit convention hall, I’d pay good money if I could find one of those at an antique shop.

T-34A Mentor!

Compared to some of these other planes, the late-’50s T-34A Mentor looks smaller and close to adorable.

Intrepid upper deck!

While the planes themselves were interesting to check out, that previous shot of the Mentor points toward one of the underrated stars of that upper deck: the imposing Manhattan skyline to the east.

Next time: we finish the MCC Intrepid Trilogy with a loving look at the two coolest vehicles on the premises. To be continued!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email signup for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my TV live-tweeting and other signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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