Anyone wanting more information about the American Military Heritage Foundation
or the World War II-era Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon kept at Mount Comfort Airport may call Penny Litz
at (317) 883-4721 or log onto the foundation's web site at www.AMHF .org.
The organization is looking for corporate sponsors, which would have their logos displayed at air shows and other events.Penny Litz
, 48, could have become interested in any type of historic aircraft, she
said, but she
chose the Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon "because it was here."She's
referring to a plane that has sat at the Mount Comfort Airport in Hancock County -- except for when it's being flown -- since being purchased in 1990 by a group of pilots and brought to Indiana from Tyler, Texas."I've always been interested in airplanes," said Litz, who has a private pilot's license and is married to commercial pilot Joe Litz.
likely would have pursued her
own aviation career, but made motherhood a priority.The Litzes have two sons, ages 5 and 10."The (PV-2) is my way of being around airplanes," said Litz
.She now serves as president of the American Military Heritage Foundation, which owns the plane.
The group hosted an open house Saturday, where anyone could take a free tour of the airplane.Litz
got involved with the foundation in 2005 after moving here with her
family from California.
arrived at a perfect time, he
The foundation's PV-2 is the only one still flying in military configuration, Litz
said.Several others are in pieces in various locations of the United States, and another is no longer flown, she
said.During World War II, PV-2s were used as bombers, patrol bombers and attack aircraft.The foundation's specimen does not have as exciting a past as some military aircraft, but that fact might be part of the reason the plane survived, Litz
said."It never saw combat," Litz
said."The war ended too soon, and it was eventually converted to an agricultural sprayer, which actually ended up preserving it.Most planes that saw any significant combat are gone."The Palm Springs (Calif.) Air Museum has expressed interest in acquiring the PV-2, but Litz wants it to stay in Indiana."This plane is not an indigenous artifact, but it has been here 17 years," she
said."We want to see it stay here."The foundation has a friendly relationship with the Palm Springs museum, Litz
added.The foundation is considering flying the PV-2 out to the museum, in fact, for temporary display."We're possibly going to be one of the first in a series of guest aircraft they'll show," Litz
said."We want to go out there for a visit, but we would like to stay out here (in Indiana) permanently."In recent months, the foundation has collaborated at some events with the USS Indianapolis Museum Inc.Litz
foresees similar partnerships in the future with other organizations involved with World War II history."We're reviewing how we've done business in the past and looking to change our business model," she
said."Rather than just focusing on air shows, we want to start focusing on the historical and educational aspects."The foundation's members are all volunteers, Litz
noted.Many in the same small group of people make endless donations of time and money to the plane, she
said, which itself is worth "several hundred thousand dollars."The current task, she
said, is sprucing up the aircraft's interior and adding any parts missing from its military days.Volunteers already have encountered some unforeseen snafus."We had two members bidding against each other for an item on eBay