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A new addition to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s flight deck is due to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) — and it’ll be coming by air… well, sorta! The Douglas F4D Skyray will be craned into place at the end of a 3-day multi-step journey of 177 miles over land and sea.
It isn’t the first time this particular aircraft has been on the Intrepid — the 722mph jet, the 28th in the Museum’s aircraft collection, flew to and from the vessel during the Cold War.
Once it is safely back aboard Intrepid, the museum’s team of experts will begin working to preserve the aircraft so visitors can learn from it for decades to come.
In all, 420 F4D-1 Skyrays, powered by Pratt & Whitney J57s, were built. The aircraft was used by both the US Navy and the US Marines from 1956. This one was the 107th Skyray produced, and it was given to the New England Air Museum by the Navy before it was decided to return the Skyray to its former place of work.
The Skyray is named for the unique shape of its wing (which resembles a manta ray). It was designed to be a high-altitude fleet protection interceptor, fast enough to catch and neutralize an approaching enemy bomber flying at 500 knots. Skyrays set many speed and time-to-climb records in their day, as they were able to reach supersonic speeds.
The barge carrying the the Skyray will pass under the Queensboro, Triborough, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges this morning before docking overnight. It will continue the last leg of its journey tomorrow morning (Tuesday) when it will pass the Statue of Liberty, then make its way up the Hudson River to Intrepid.
If you can’t be there in person to watch the plane’s arrival, there’s a livestream tomorrow from 11am. More details here.