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Piper PA-34 Seneca

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File:Piper Seneka At Centennial.jpg
Piper Seneca at Centennial Airport undergoing engine maintenance

The Piper PA-34 Seneca is an American twin-engined light aircraft, produced by Piper Aircraft since 1971 and still in production in 2009.[1][2][3]

The Seneca is primarily used for personal and business flying.[4]


The Seneca was developed as a twin-engine version of the Piper Cherokee Six. The prototype was a Cherokee Six that had wing-mounted engines installed, retaining its nose engine. The prototype was flown as a tri-motor aircraft in the initial stages of the test-flying program.[4]

PA-34-200 Seneca I

Certified on 7 May 1971 and introduced in late 1971 as a 1972 model, the PA-34-200 Seneca I, is powered by pair of Lycoming IO-360-C1E6 engines. The righthand engine is a Lycoming LIO-360-C1E6 engine variant, the "L" in its designation indicating that the crankshaft turns in the opposite direction, giving the Seneca I counter-rotating engines. The counter-rotating engines eliminate the critical engine limitations of other light twins and make the aircraft more controllable in the event of a shut down or failure of either engine.[3][1]

The early Seneca Is have a maximum gross weight of 4000 lbs (1814 kg), while later serial numbers allowed a take-off weight of 4200 lbs (1905 kg).[3]

PA-34-200T Seneca II

Responding to complaints about the aircraft's handling qualities, Piper introduced the PA-34-200T Seneca II. The aircraft was certified on July 18, 1974 and introduced as a 1975 model.[3]

The new model incorporates changes to the aircraft's control surfaces, including enlarged and balanced ailerons, the addition of a rudder anti-servo tab, and a stabilator bobweight.[1]

The "T" in the new model designation reflects a change to turbocharged, six cylinder Continental TSIO-360E or EB engines for improved performance, particularly at higher altitudes. The Seneca II retained the counter-rotating engine arrangement of the earlier Seneca I.[3]

The Seneca II also introduced "club seating" whereby the two center-row seats face rearwards and the two back seats face forward allowing more legroom in the passenger cabin.[1]

Gross weights are 4570 lbs (2073 kg) for takeoff and 4342 lbs (1969 kg) for landing, with all weight in excess of 4000 lbs required to be fuel.[3]

PA-34-220T Seneca III

In 1981, the PA-34-220T Seneca III was introduced, having completed certification on December 17, 1980.[3]

The change in model designation reflects an engine upgrade. Continental TSIO-360-KB engines were used which produced 220 horsepower (165 kW), although only rated as such for five minutes and then dropping to 200 hp (150 kW).[3]

The horsepower increase, with the new engines' limit of 2800 rpm (up from 2575 rpm), combined for much improved climb and cruise performance. The new aircraft also incorporated a one piece windshield, a metal instrument panel, instead of plastic, and some models have electrically actuated flaps.

The aircraft's gross weight was increased to 4750 lb (2154 kg) for takeoff and 4513 lb (2046 kg) for landing.[3]

PA-34-220T Seneca IV

In 1994, the "New" Piper Aircraft company introduced the Seneca IV, having achieved certification on November 17, 1993. This model was similar to the Seneca III offering minor improvements, such as a streamlined engine cowl for increased cruise performance. It continued to use the counter-rotating Continental TSIO-360-KB engines and gross weights remained unchanged.[3]

PA-34-220T Seneca V

Certified on December 11, 1996, the Seneca V was put into production as a 1998 model year. Again the cowls were redesigned for increased performance, several cockpit switches were relocated from the panel to the headliner and a slightly different engine variant, the Continental TSIO-360-RB was installed.[3]

The Seneca V's gross weights remain the same as the Seneca III and IV at 4750 lbs (2154 kg) for takeoff and 4513 (2046 kg) lbs for landing.[3]

Military operators


Specifications (PA-34-200 Seneca I)

General characteristics

  • Crew: One, pilot
  • Capacity: Five passengers
  • Length: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 11 in (11.85 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 11 in (3.02 m)
  • Wing area: 207 ft² (19.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,625 lb (1,190 kg)
  • Useful load: 1,575 lb (715 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,200 lb (1,905 kg)
  • Powerplant:Lycoming IO-360-C1E6 4-cylinder, air-cooled, horizontally-opposed piston engine, 200 hp (150 kW) each



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, pages 106-107. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  2. Piper Aircraft (2008). Welcome to the Seneca V. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Federal Aviation Administration (August 2006). TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A7SO Revision 17. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Montgomery, MR & Gerald Foster: A Field Guide to Airplanes, Second Edition, page 96. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. ISBN 0-395-62888-1

External links

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence
PA-31 - PA-32 - PA-33 - PA-34 - PA-35 - PA-36 - PA-38 Related lists

de:Piper PA-34 es:Piper PA-34 fr:Piper PA-34 hr:Piper PA-34 Seneca ja:パイパー PA-34 no:Piper PA-34 Seneca pl:Piper PA-34 Seneca pt:Piper Seneca

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Piper PA-34 Seneca".