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Thread: Should the Cradle fall?

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    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Should the Cradle fall?

    You know, I went to the Cradle of Aviation a few weeks ago and found it was a bit of a disappointment. I mean, it has been over 4 years since we were last there and it was all the same exact thing, no new additions or exhibits. They have hangars full of stuff and dont seem to understand they really need to rotate exhibits and show their full array of holdings.

    As I write this, I know they had, at one point, a BA Concorde that used to sit atop the Times Square Brewery in Times Square. Well, I am gathering some info now that implies the museum is looking to sell it, looking for over $100K for it.

    Its been said its a money loser. Isnt it about time some thought be given to the content and making the museum better instead of pawning off stuff?
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    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Let American Airpower Museum run it... or give all the holdings to Intrepid or to NE Air Museum...
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    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
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    I remember the El Al Boeing 707 nose section actually came from the Intrepid. But, like Mario indicated, when I went to the Cradle, it was not on display at that time. (I think they put it out for display later). I was disappointed as well, but there are some good aircraft there I have to say.
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    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    To me, the Cradle is the best museum in our area, easily beating the Intrepid even. The Intrepid is overpriced and aside from the Concorde and SR-71 (just a trainer, mind you, not an actual Blackbird), is a bore. Not to mention that they have hardly ANY space exhibits and are vying for a Space Shuttle? Eh.

    The Cradle has a lot of very impressive exhibits, my favorite being the ACTUAL lunar lander intended to be used for Apollo 18 (!!!!) and all kinds of true, legit space pieces. Their ride is a fun one, their WW2 stuff is great, and I especially like their coverage of NYC/Long Island aviation history. I have been there a few times and always walk out feeling impressed.

    Maybe they have more resources but need more funding? As long as they don't rip a page out of the Intrepid handbook ($22 to get in and you still don't get Concorde access!), I think they are showing that they want people to actually be able to go in an enjoy everything that they have to offer.

    I'd pick the Cradle of the Intrepid anyday.

    End rant. Sorry.
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    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Didn't they just lose the IMAX thing? That helped big time but I can't see them not being able to break even unless the economy really hurt them. Their prices are very reasonable in fact a little cheaper than the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
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    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirrodie View Post
    You know, I went to the Cradle of Aviation a few weeks ago and found it was a bit of a disappointment. I mean, it has been over 4 years since we were last there and it was all the same exact thing, no new additions or exhibits. They have hangars full of stuff and dont seem to understand they really need to rotate exhibits and show their full array of holdings.

    As I write this, I know they had, at one point, a BA Concorde that used to sit atop the Times Square Brewery in Times Square. Well, I am gathering some info now that implies the museum is looking to sell it, looking for over $100K for it.

    Its been said its a money loser. Isnt it about time some thought be given to the content and making the museum better instead of pawning off stuff?
    The reason why the BA Concorde is not being shown is space. It is longer than the F-105 that is sitting in the hangar next to it!!! Why on earth would you want to display a British Model when you have the possibility of displaying a Long Island made aircraft? They wanted to put the Concorde as a gate guard at the road to get people to turn into the Cradle, but when the cost of the base was found to be about a million dollars, they figured that the money would be better spent on a real aircraft! Now they want 100K for a Model that would have cost 1MIL to mount.... That is a sound thinking as far as I am concerned.

    The Cradle has volunteers like at the AAM and some actually help bolt museums. These are dedicated people who work everyday with out getting paid for the love of aviation. The next time you are at the Cradle, pull one aside and ask them your questions and I am sure you will be very happy with the answers you get back. Like most things in life, there is a good reason for everything. My friend was yelling about how a bag of potato chips is all air...He is paying for air! He was so upset until I told him, without the air, in shipping all the chips would be crushed and broken and it is only to make sure that his chips are big and mainly unbroken. Go ask questions, it is not the big mismanaged pile of junk most people think it is.



    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    Let American Airpower Museum run it... or give all the holdings to Intrepid or to NE Air Museum...
    The AAM loves both the Cradle and the Intrepid, They are different kind of Museums. The main difference is the AAM never gets tiring as they use their equipment in low passes and Banana passes so it makes it a little more fun in the summer!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Turner View Post
    I remember the El Al Boeing 707 nose section actually came from the Intrepid. But, like Mario indicated, when I went to the Cradle, it was not on display at that time. (I think they put it out for display later). I was disappointed as well, but there are some good aircraft there I have to say.
    The 707 took a while to display for a good reason.

    1. The cockpit was not intact. Many instrument were missing and it needed work. If you look really close you will see that some are paper and I am sure they are slowing replacing them as real ones are found or as funds become available.
    2. They told that by law they needed to have a wheelchair lift purchased before it was allowed to be shown. They had to spend allot more on the display than they wanted and did not have a choice becuase of the NYState laws about this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    To me, the Cradle is the best museum in our area, easily beating the Intrepid even. The Intrepid is overpriced and aside from the Concorde and SR-71 (just a trainer, mind you, not an actual Blackbird), is a bore. Not to mention that they have hardly ANY space exhibits and are vying for a Space Shuttle? Eh.

    The Cradle has a lot of very impressive exhibits, my favorite being the ACTUAL lunar lander intended to be used for Apollo 18 (!!!!) and all kinds of true, legit space pieces. Their ride is a fun one, their WW2 stuff is great, and I especially like their coverage of NYC/Long Island aviation history. I have been there a few times and always walk out feeling impressed.

    Maybe they have more resources but need more funding? As long as they don't rip a page out of the Intrepid handbook ($22 to get in and you still don't get Concorde access!), I think they are showing that they want people to actually be able to go in an enjoy everything that they have to offer.

    I'd pick the Cradle of the Intrepid anyday.

    End rant. Sorry.
    I agree Phil, I do like them all! The Cradle has the oldest #3 Tomcat

    One of 3 A-6F's that were made


    and as you said, the actual lunar lander


    and trainers
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Been there twice and never understood the lack of visitors. What a great musuem the Cradle is. Sadly, it will most likely close in the next 10 years because society is more invested in hearing what Snooki has to say(recent story of Rutgers paying her to speak, to continue the Jersey Shore references)

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    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    My only complaint is that the volunteer staff wouldn't leave me/us alone during visits. I love getting questions answered, but they follow you around and tell you stuff you didn't ask.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

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    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    The Intrepid is overpriced and aside from the Concorde and SR-71 (just a trainer, mind you, not an actual Blackbird), is a bore. Not to mention that they have hardly ANY space exhibits and are vying for a Space Shuttle? Eh.

    I especially like their coverage of NYC/Long Island aviation history. I have been there a few times and always walk out feeling impressed.
    -Phil, Intrepid can and should charge it. They are paying NY rent and have MUCH more potential for visitors than Cradle would, largely b/ of tourism. I am 50/50 on their shuttle acquisition thoughts. GREAT visibility but hardly the right place. Then again, Sydney hosed the Russian Buran for a while.(do they still?)

    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    Didn't they just lose the IMAX thing?
    -THat is hte first I am hearing. What the story there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    a)The reason why the BA Concorde is not being shown is space.

    b)Why on earth would you want to display a British Model when you have the possibility of displaying a Long Island made aircraft?

    c)Now they want 100K for a Model that would have cost 1MIL to mount.... That is a sound thinking as far as I am concerned.

    d)The next time you are at the Cradle, pull one aside and ask them your questions and I am sure you will be very happy with the answers you get back. .. Go ask questions, it is not the big mismanaged pile of junk most people think it is.
    a)Fred, I understand that space is an issue which is why I indicated rotating exhibits. That is how you keep thing fresh and it gives the museum potential for renewed interest. Been there 3 times and its now quite boring.
    b)see above. If all you are going to show is the same a/c all the time, what new draw is there?
    c)Sure its sound thinking yet their are other answers. I am sure if you get a few day laborers and a half ass architect student out of Farmingdale, it could cost less than $100K to implement. (Yes, go back and re-read that sentence.) Sorry but its the same old BS, politics and red tape.
    d) The people are nice, I agree. But I can only conjure up so many questions based on the same models seen over and over.

    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    Been there twice and never understood the lack of visitors. What a great musuem the Cradle is. Sadly, it will most likely close in the next 10 years because society is more invested in hearing what Snooki has to say(recent story of Rutgers paying her to speak, to continue the Jersey Shore references)
    Megatop, I do agree. More could be done. With Roosevelt field mall right there, so much PR and marketing could be done to promote the museum. But if once need to draw fresh blood(new visitors), perhaps change it up a bit....
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

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    Senior Member Fighting_falcon_51's Avatar
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    The museum would really have a lot of publicity if that lighthouse plan went into motion.
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    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirrodie View Post
    As I write this, I know they had, at one point, a BA Concorde that used to sit atop the Times Square Brewery in Times Square. Well, I am gathering some info now that implies the museum is looking to sell it, looking for over $100K for it.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/m...C-rss&FEEDNAME=

  12. #12
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    I remember visiting the "museum" when it was a handful of airplanes in a dark, dusty hangar. What they have created is nothing short of magnificent. I do wish more people were aware of this gem we have in our backyard.

    The IMAX thing may be a license issue about the name - their web page is still ".../imax" but they refer to the "Giant Screen Dome Theater". They still have a full schedule of movies throughout April. And this weekend, April 16 & 17, they are holding a celebration for the Centennial of Naval Aviation. I haven't been to the Cradle in a while, maybe I'll stop in this weekend.

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    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Mario, I had never seen any aviation museum that rotating exhibits. It is a bad idea that would never work. Let's say speedbird from the forums goes on 3 trains and takes a cab from NYC to find out that they are not displaying his beloved fake Concorde and then goes on a 2 page rant about how he demanded that they give him a refund after looking for a model for 2 hours that was put away while they rotate to "keep it fresh". You will piss off those who visit.... Remember above how Tom Turner was "disappointed" that a piece that he went to see (and was never at the time announced it was on display) was not on display? I drove all the way to C.T. Because ther was a 707 Pan Am cockpit on display... That was on wheels and easy to move, If it was "rotated" in a back room or "hidden to get me to come back" to "keep it fresh". You would have seen a rant here that would have me banned by Phil! You have an exhibit or not... Period.
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

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    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    $22 is way too expensive for general admission to a place that actually doesn't have much of anything. I don't care what their rent is, when you're awarded a piece like the Concorde it's not supposed to be treated like your own personal goldmine. People should be able to see it for a reasonable price. And they want a SHUTTLE?! Eff that. They'll charge $50 a head.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  15. #15
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    A bad idea that would never work. Not true considering so many other museums do the same.

    Ah, so selling museum pieces is far better? you can knock the fake Concorde as much as if makes you feel good but it doesnt help the cause.

    Its cuttings one's nose to spite its face. If pawning off this piece is a last ditch attempt to make some cash, that's great but it won't add to the overall bottom line nor the museum's future.

    How do you fit a car that leaks oil? I guess the museum prefers adding oil as opposed to fixing the leak....
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

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