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.
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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