Piper PA-34 Seneca – A brief history

Piper Seneca
The Piper Cherokee Six is an iconic aircraft that has been used in many different applications, from recreational flying to commercial transport. But what many people may not know is that the Seneca was developed as a twin-engined version of the same plane. The prototype involved taking a Cherokee Six and mounting two engines on its wings while keeping the nose engine in place. This allowed for the test-flying program to take off with a tri-motor design.  As time went on, it became clear that this new iteration of the Piper had much to offer in terms of versatility and power. Its wing engines provided ample thrust for takeoff, allowing for shorter runways and steeper ascents during flight operation. On top of this, the Seneca could carry heavier payloads than its predecessor, along with more passengers or cargo space depending on personal preference.

PA-34-200 Seneca

Certified in May 1971 and introduced in late 1971 as a 1972 model, this twin-engine plane has been a popular choice among pilots for decades. It’s powered by a pair of Lycoming IO-360-C1E6 engines and boasts an impressive range with its two 76-gallon fuel tanks.  The Seneca is known for its reliability and ability to carry passengers on longer trips without refuelling, making it great for business or pleasure! With its comfortable interior seating, luxurious amenities, and superior performance capabilities compared to other planes in its class, this aircraft is truly one of Piper’s finest.
Piper Seneca II
Piper Seneca II, courtesy of Wikipedia

PA-34-200T Seneca II

The Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II was introduced as a 1975 model in response to complaints regarding the handling of its predecessor, the PA-34. This aircraft was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration on 18 July 1974, and released for public sale in 1975. The new aircraft incorporated altered controls to the aircraft, including enlarged and balanced ailerons, a rudder anti-servo tab, and a stabilator bobweight.

The Seneca II also introduced optional “club seating” interchangeable to the front seats of two inward-facing seats and the tail seats of two forward-opening seats, offering passengers more room to stretch out. The Seneca II totaled 2,588 units.

PA-34-220T Seneca III

The PA-34-220T Seneca III was first certified in 1981. Engine modifications reflected a change in the model designation, featuring the Continental TSIO-360-KB engine, rated at 220 hp (165 kW) for five minutes and then dropping to 200 hp (149 kW).

The airplane also included a one-piece cockpit glass panel and a bare metal instrument panel in place of one that was covered with a detachable plastic coating.

PA-34-220T Seneca IV

In 1994, the “New” Piper Aircraft company introduced the Seneca IV, having received FAA certification in November 1993. This model was similar to the Seneca III offering improvements, such as a streamlined engine cowl for greater efficiency.

PA-34-220T Seneca V

Certified in December 1996, the Seneca V was produced as a 1997 model year. Numerous cockpit switches were taken from the control panel and connected to the overhead headliner and again the cowls were redesigned for increased performance.

Click the link to our resource for much more information: Wikipedia Piper PA-34 Seneca


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