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PA-34 Seneca

PA-34 Seneca (5)

The Piper PA-34 Seneca is an twin-engined light aircraft. It began production in 1971 and still being produced.

Articles

Piper Seneca III-V

Piper Seneca III-V

July 2005- One time-tested way to create a light twin is to take a single, remove the engine, and replace it with two engines on the wings. Sometimes the engines are smaller than those on the single—as in Piper’s Twin Comanche. Sometimes the engines are as powerful as that on the single—as in the Beech Baron.

Piper took the first approach with the PA-34 Seneca: it’s basically a Saratoga airframe with the 300 hp single engine replaced by two 200 (later 220) hp wing engines. The result is one of the longest-running twins in General Aviation.

The original Seneca was introduced in 1972, and you can still buy a brand-new Seneca V from Piper today. The original PA-34-200 Seneca had some problems, notably a low single-engine service ceiling.

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Seneca Chronicle Part 02

Seneca Chronicle Part 02

August 2013

Piper had success with its twin-engine Seneca, but complaints of poor handling had plagued the early models and Piper had been on a quest for more power and better handling for the Seneca nearly from the outset.

Seneca II

To gain more power for the 4,200-pound (gross weight) Seneca, Piper engineers looked at the possibility of adding a supercharger. They tried out the 220 hp Franklin 6A-350-C1 as well as turbocharged engines from Lycoming and Continental. In tests the 200 hp turbocharged Continental L/TSIO-360-E performed well and was eventually chosen for the powerplant.

In-flight handling was improved by adding aerodynamically balanced ailerons, an anti-servo tab for increased rudder effectiveness and a redesigned stabilator, while ground handling received enhancements in the form of a reworked nosegear steering linkage. To keep things simple engineers chose a fixed wastegate.

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Seneca Chronicle Part 01

Seneca Chronicle Part 01

July 2013

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t “tri” again. But Piper’s trimotor testing wasn’t all for naught.

What do you do when you’ve completed initial testing of a new version of your wildly popular single-engine aircraft? If you’re Piper Aircraft in the 1960s, you slap a couple more engines on it and try it out as a trimotor.

That’s just what happened in 1964. Piper had completed initial tests on its PA-32-260 Cherokee Six and used that airframe to attach two more engines to the wings (in this case using the 115 hp Lycoming O-235) while retaining the 250 hp Lycoming O-540 of the “Six” for the center engine.

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The Smart (and Sexy!) Seneca

The Smart (and Sexy!) Seneca

July 2012

A flood at the Piper’s Lock Haven facility destroyed the tooling for the Comanche, and Piper Aircraft developed the Seneca as a replacement aircraft for its popular Twin Comanche. Employing “parts bin” engineering and following the marketing strategy of the time, the Seneca is probably most accurately described as a twin-engine Cherokee Six.

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Seneca Mods

Seneca Mods

October 2004 -

When I bought 1176X four years ago, I really did not plan to restore or modify the aircraft in any way, but as I got into the project, I discovered that there are more than 50 Supplemental Type Certificated products or modification for the PA-34-200T.
These STCs can be for things as simple as a better sun visor to as complicated as a vortex generator set that actually changes the way the aircraft flies. After careful consideration, I selected the STCs that I felt yielded the best "bang for the buck."
Maintenance issues compelled me to purchase the Bogart Oil Filter Access Door STC. This modification allows you to perform an oil change, including the filter, without dropping the lower cowl.
Copper starter cables were purchased because the factory-installed aluminum cables drew so much current that the aircraft was difficult to start under any conditions. The copper cables were so effective you could almost taxi the airplane on the starter motor alone.
The one-piece windshield and Rosen sun visors came with the aircraft, though I would have opted for both of them. The same for the JPI engine analyzer. I don't see how you can properly operate a turbocharged piston engine without one.
The Nayak auxiliary nacelle tanks were also installed on the aircraft when I purchased it. This mod brings total fuel capacity to 128 gallons.

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