A few nice auto loan images I found:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: south hangar panorama, including B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat, among others
Image by Chris Devers
See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.
Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":
Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.
On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)
Polished overall aluminum finish
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.
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Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy | Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat:
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was originally conceived as an advanced version of the U.S. Navy’s then current front-line fighter, the F4F Wildcat (see NASM collection). The Wildcat’s intended replacement, the Vought F4U Corsair (see NASM collection), first flown in 1940, was showing great promise, but development was slowed by problems, including the crash of the prototype.
The National Air and Space Museum’s F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 41834, was built at Grumman’s Bethpage, New York, factory in February 1944 under contract NOA-(S)846. It was delivered to the Navy on February 7, and arrived in San Diego, California, on the 18th. It was assigned to Fighter Squadron 15 (VF-15) on USS Hornet (CV12) bound for Hawaii. On arrival, it was assigned to VF-3 where it sustained damage in a wheels-up landing at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. After repair, it was assigned to VF-83 where it was used in a training role until February 21, 1945. After numerous transfers 41834 was converted to an F6F-3K target drone with the installation of sophisticated radio-control equipment. It was painted red with a pink tail that carried the number 14. Its mission was to be used in Operation Crossroads – the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. It flew on June 24, 1946, with a pilot, on a practice flight and was launched, unmanned, soon after the first bomb test. Instrumentation on board and photographic plates taped to the control stick obtained data on radioactivity. Three more manned flights preceded the final unmanned flight on July 25, 1946, which evaluated the first underwater explosion. Records indicate that exposure of this aircraft to the radioactive cloud was minimal and residual radiation is negligible.
F6F-3K 41834 was transferred to NAS Norfolk and logged its last flight on March 25, 1947, with a total of 430.2 flying hours. It was assigned to the National Air Museum on November 3, 1948, and remained at Norfolk until October 4, 1960, when it was moved by barge to Washington and placed in storage. In 1976 this Hellcat was loaned to the USS Yorktown Museum at Charleston, South Carolina. A superficial restoration was performed at the museum, but because of the harsh environment and its poor condition the Hellcat was returned to NASM on March 16, 1982. In 1983, it was sent to Grumman Aerospace where a team of volunteers completely restored the aircraft. In 1985, it was shipped back to the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland, and put in storage. NASM’s F6F-3 Hellcat is scheduled to be displayed in the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy center at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in 2004.
Transferred from the United States Navy.
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 338 x 1021cm, 4092kg, 1304cm (11ft 1 1/16in. x 33ft 5 15/16in., 9021.2lb., 42ft 9 3/8in.)
Heavy armor plate, reinforced empennage, R-2800-10W engine, spring tabs on the ailerons (increased maneuverability), could carry rockets as well as bombs.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space exhibit, Star Wars R2-D2 themed US Post Office mailbox
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting the caption:
R2-D2 Collection Box
This official U.S. Postal Service collection box was one of 400 mailboxes that were dressed as R2-D2, the endearing robot from Star Wars (1977), to celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary in 2007. Beginning on March 16, 2007, R2-D2 mailboxes appeared at select locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Fans of the fantastical space science fiction saga could vote online for their favorite Star Wars stamp or deposit mail in — and take pictures with — the R2-D2 collection boxes. Before the box came to the Smithsonian, Star Wars creator George Lucas and Postermaster General John E. Potter signed it.
Lent by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum
© Lucasfilm Ltd. and the U.S. Postal Service ®
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Quoting from National Postal Museum | R2-D2 Mailbox
© Lucasfilm Ltd. and the United States Postal Service®
March 2007 marked the 30 year anniversary of Star Wars. To honor the event, the United States Postal Service (USPS), in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., released 400 round-top mail collection boxes across the country, resembling the sturdy robot R2-D2 from the film series. The Postal Service’s goal was to have the R2-D2 collection boxes appear all on the same day. These fancifully designed mailboxes were placed to promote the first issue of the Star War stamps series. The stamps were offered for sale from May 25, 2007 until May 25, 2008.
R2-D2 was chosen to have its likeness placed onto collection boxes because his shape is so similar to that of the mailboxes. Additionally, the little droid was selected because it “embodies the trust and dependability for which the Postal Service is renowned” according to the USPS press release announcing the mailboxes’ arrival.
People around the country were excited to see R2-D2 take the place of regular blue collection boxes. Before long, trying to find the locations of all the R2-D2 boxes became its own cult movement. Among those who worked together online to locate all the mailboxes was a Flickr group formed to store all the pictures and discussions relating to R2-D2 collection boxes.
The R2-D2 collection boxes were not brand new mailboxes. Instead, they were fitted with vinyl “skins” that makes them take on the appearance of the spunky droid. You can learn more about the design and artist Chris Calf’s work here.
In October 2007, USPS transferred a very special R2-D2 mailbox to the National Postal Museum. What makes this R2-D2 so special is that it was signed by the director of Star Wars, George Lucas, and the Postmaster General, John E. Potter. A metal plaque is adhered to the front of the collection box that has “UNITED STATES/POSTAL SERVICE” with the service’s eagle symbol on the left and “STAR WARS” in film type on right with the signatures “Postmaster General John E. Potter” and “George Lucas” and text below stating “March-June 2007/The U.S. Postal Service installed over 400 R2-D2 mailboxes in cities throughout the United States/and on U.S. Military bases around the world.”
Sadly, by the time this R2-D2 arrived at the museum there were several scratches, abrasions and tears to the skin. Museum staff made arrangements to repair the damage. USPS contractors responsible for the original project flew to Washington, DC, to replace the skin on the mailbox. They carefully removed the old skin and replaced it with a new, fresh, version. You can watch this transformation process here.
The rejuvenated R2-D2 mailbox is currently on view as a loan from the museum to the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy center. As all of the other R2-D2 collection mailboxes were returned to their more pedestrian, but efficient, blue tones, the Smithsonian is now the only place where the public can get a peak at the droid turned mailbox.
Star Wars Stamps
Written by Rebecca Johnson
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Star Wars R2-D2 collection box
The R2-D2 collection box is metal with a vinyl “skin” that makes it take on the appearance of a droid character in the film Star Wars. Transferred from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in October 2007, this collection box is signed by the director of Star Wars, George Lucas, and the Postmaster General, John E. Potter. A metal plaque adhered to the front of the collection box reads “UNITED STATES / POSTAL SERVICE” with the service’s eagle symbol on the left and “STAR WARS” in film type on right. The text below the two signatures states “March-June 2007 / The U.S. Postal Service installed over 400 R2-D2 mailboxes in cities throughout the United States / and on U.S. Military bases around the world.”
March 2007 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the Star Wars film. To honor the event, the USPS in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd, released the 400 round-top mail collection boxes across the country (this box was installed at Union Station, Washington, DC).
R2-D2 was chosen to have its likeness placed onto collection boxes because of his shape, which is similar to that of the mailboxes and because it “embodies the trust and dependability for which the Postal Service is renowned” according to a press release from USPS.
(C)Lucasfilm Ltd. and the United States Postal Service (R)
www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2007/sr07_009.htm (Accessed September 21, 2009)
printed on skin, front middle "uspsjedimaster.com"; visual left top "UNITED STATES / POSTAL SERVICE" and middle "uspsjedimaster.com"; back top "UNITED STATES / POSTAL SERVICE" and middle "uspsjedimaster.com"; visual right "UNITED STATES / POSTAL SERVICE" and middle "uspsjedimaster.com"; on metal plaque "UNITED STATES / POSTAL SERVICE" [with eagle symbol] on left and "STAR WARS" [in film typeface] on right with spaces below for signatures "Postmaster General John E. Potter" and "George Lucas" with text below "March-June 2007 / The U.S. Postal Service installed over 400 R2-D2 mailboxes in cities throughout the United States / and on U.S. military bases around the world."; stamped in metal on visual right side "U.S.P.S." at bottom middle
Height x Width x Depth: 127 x 56.5 x 59.7cm (50 x 22 1/4 x 23 1/2in.)
Place of Use:
District of Columbia
National Postal Museum (SI)
(C)Lucasfilm Ltd. and the United States Postal Service (R) ****This object has restrictions on reproduction and publication, please see Registrar or file******
September 23, 2009