So today is my last day in New York. I’m a little bit sad to be leaving, but, in a way, I know whats here, and I know I’d like to come back at some stage. I packed up my suitcase and checked out of The Jane hotel. It’s been a nice place to stay. In a quiet neighbourhood, and the staff were always very friendly. I stored my bags at the hotel while I spent a few hours at a place I really wanted to check out before I left. The Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum.
Basically, the decommissioned USS Intrepid aircraft carrier has been turned into a huge floating museum. Outside on the ground, before you head into the Intrepid, the museum has on loan from British Airways, one of the Concorde planes. This plane really fascinated me with it’s capability to do the very journey I am presently doing, New York to London, in under half the time of today’s planes. Concorde was much smaller then I imagined. In order to get a look inside, I had to do a tour, but as today was my departure day, I didn’t want to risk being held up. I admired it from the outside, then turned towards exploring the giant ship alongside.
Up on the flight deck at samples of each of the types of planes that one flew from the ship, and also other planes and helicopters on loan from other museums. Two aircraft of particular interest was the F-14 Tomcat, as seen in the film Top Gun, and also a Lockheed Blackbird, which was capable of speeds up to 3600km/hr, and could photograph trees and cars from 24km above! Not bad for a plane first flown in 1962!
From the flight deck I could see inside the bridge, and where the flight control tower was located, then I headed into the hangar bay. In here were various exhibits and displays explaining the workings of the aircraft carrier. At the very front of the ship you could see the enormous chains used to haul in the anchors. Soon, the Intrepid museum is set to receive from NASA, space shuttle Endeavour. I think it would be worth returning just to see this on it’s own!
The next level down consisted of crew sleeping quarters, the galley, and some machine shops.
It was well worth a visit to the museum, I’m sure there is plenty I missed, but I’d rather miss out on that then my flight back to London, so I headed back to collect my bags from the hotel. I took the underground train to Howard Beach station, probably a 50minute ride. It was also an interesting ride. Out of the blue, a few passengers just broke out into a barber shop quartet style song! It was quite impressive, and sure broke up the monotony of the trip. I changed onto the air train, which loops around the terminals at JFK airport, and stopped off where I needed to be.
My suitcase was spot on the weight limit, so I checked that in and went to line up for security. It was a painless procedure thankfully.
I was a couple of hours early for my flight, so that gave me time to just relax in the departure terminal before it was time to board. My seat is towards the back of the plane, 41F, an aisle seat. I was one of the last to board, and when I found my seat, to my surprise, the window seat next to it was vacant! On air travel, this is probably the most difficult decision you get to have; window or aisle, and I got both! It’s nice having extra space though. For the record, I chose the window seat, and it was so worth it, as we ascended away from New York, to tens of thousand of blinking lights below. It really was an impressive sight to see.
The flight so far has been good. Dinner has came and gone, and then out of the blue we seem to hit a patch of very quick moving air. My headrest screen tells me we have a tail wind of 200km/hr, and the noise outside my window tells me so! The plane has gained 500m, and about an extra 100km/hr, bringing us to just over 1000km/hr. The temperature at 11km up remains around -40 degrees celsius. It’s reduced the arrival time by a good chunk though, and in approximately 3 hours and 20minutes, I should be back on British territory!