Expanding Your Envelope to Multiengine Piston Airplanes

Diamond takes its multiengine line a step higher with the DA-42NG. Diamond Aircraft

When flying regularly takes a course over inhospitable terrain or open water through instrument meteorological conditions in the dark of night, that’s when many pilots depend on the safety and security of having a second engine in case of trouble. Today’s multiengine piston aircraft are extremely capable, and with advances in both engine and avionics technologies, even an engine failure can be a managed incident with a safe conclusion. Let’s take a look at a few of the twins available in 2020.

If an owner-pilot wants a safe and stable IFR platform with a well-deserved reputation for high quality and a smooth ride, Beechcraft’s Baron G58 is a smart choice. With two Continental IO-550-C engines, Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics suite, room for six people and convenient aft cargo doors, the Baron 58 provides twin redundancy and high-quality workmanship.

Piper Aircraft’s Seneca is a strong competitor to the Baron G58, delivering similar performance with a pair of Continental TSIO-360-RB engines. Lush club seating for six and the latest G1000 NXi avionics strengthens an already-strong reputation as a leader in the light-twin category. The proven durability of the Seneca over the years has made it popular for multiengine flight training.

The Piper Seneca V carries on a long tradition of versatile twins for Piper Aircraft. Piper

Diamond Aircraft builds two very capable, stylish and efficient multiengine aircraft with their DA42-VI and seven-passenger DA62, both burning jet-A in their Austro diesel engines. With a big emphasis on safety engineered into both models, the DA42 and DA62 deliver dependable performance, exquisite interior details, and a panel featuring Garmin’s G1000 NXi flight deck with standard three-axis GFC 700 automated flight-control system. Did we mention both aircraft also have a modern beauty on the ramp as you walk up and climb on board through the large gull-wing doors?

If multiengine flying on a smaller budget fits your needs, Tecnam’s P2006T may be the perfect choice that delivers the efficiency and safety of two Rotax 912 S3 engines. This high-wing light twin carries four people in style while burning just 9 gph, with good short-field performance. Tecnam’s P2012 Traveller is a much larger model, with two Lycoming TEO-540-C1A engines providing enough power to carry 11 people. Fixed gear and a robust interior cuts maintenance costs, helping to make the P2012 Traveller a great business airplane or short-hop carrier for commercial operators—and a new surveillance version was just announced.

Whether it’s chasing hamburgers in a fun machine, landing on a sandbar to fish for trout, or flying friends, family or colleagues over long distances in comfort, today’s new single-engine and multiengine models serve the entire gamut. All it takes to put yourself in the left seat is to determine your mission, compare the available makes, models and features, and make your decision.

This story appeared in the November 2020, Buyers Guide issue of Flying Magazine

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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