It was an exciting day here in the Capitol City as a historic airplane made its momentous journey through Hartford and on to Charter Oak Landing.
Early Sunday morning flanked by a sea of 25 vehicles, the Douglas F4D Skyray aircraft made its way to prepare for its 177 mile long journey to its new home at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.
"That airplane, that very airplane served on Intrepid in 1961," said Eric Boehn, Aviation Curator for the the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
"We really need some of those Cold War-era airplanes to fill some holes in our collection. This airplane is perfect," he added.
But the Aviation Curator for the Museum explained why the decades old plane had to travel by river instead of the road.
"It doesn’t get any smaller than the way it is right now. With the wings folded, it’s still 25 feet wide. You really can’t truck it all the way to New York City so the best thing to do was come 17 miles that we needed to do over the road overnight. On a Sunday morning, come down here to charter Oak Landing and crane it onto a barge and take it down the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound," said Boehn.
Crews lifted the aircraft from the truck and crane operators carefully prepared the plane to land on the barge.
Matthew Woods, the Senior Vice President of Operations at the Intrepid explained just how delicate and well-orchestrated the process is.
"Well I have four people just running the tug. There’s another four guys that are here just to manage the barge. [The] big crane has roughly 15 to 20 people here, six or seven different trucks and pieces of equipment you can imagine" said Woods.
As the 30-hour journey by barge begins, it will be visible from multiple points along the Connecticut River and Connecticut coast such as Middletown, Old Saybrook along the River, and then in the Sound from New Haven and Bridgeport.
On Tuesday, it will make its way to its final home at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.