Intrepid Air/Sea/Space Museum | Naval Museum
After tours of duty in World War II and Vietnam, this 900-foot-long aircraft carrier found a new home on the Hudson in 1982, when Intrepid Air/Sea/Space Museum opened in New York as the world's largest Naval Museum.
All 40,000 tons of the battle-damaged ship, which had sustained five kamikaze attacks during its tours of duty, were destined for a scrapyard before real-estate mogul Zachary Fisher rescued the Intrepid—along with the Growler submarine, supersonic Concorde airliner, and other warplanes and helicopters that are now among its exhibits.
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After a two-year, $115 million renovation, the Intrepid reopened in 2008 with more interactive exhibits and areas of the ship open to the public for the first time—not to mention 6,500 gallons of new paint. It's not just military artifacts, however. There's a wind tunnel, in which visitors are given wings as giant fans blast air to simulate how planes are lifted. And at the kid-friendly Exploreum, little ones can climb into claustrophobic crew quarters or take a spin in onboard flight simulators.
Remaining faithful to the institution's mission to "honor, educate, and inspire," the museum also has an exhibit dedicated the Intrepid's own rich history, from its construction to its final years of military service.
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