I have known the local Piper salesman for several years. I have never done any kind of demo flight because I wasn't entertaining buying a plane. Anyway, he said he had a Seneca coming through Dallas on the way back from a show in CA and offered to give me a demo. So for those of you with any interest, here are my impressions: Walk Around: The airplane looks well built on the ramp, paint quality is good, interior quality is also what you would expect. I was surprised by a couple of things like incandescent lighting, boot instead of TKS, hot plate vs. windshield, etc. The plane looks wide and low, which makes sense once you realize the cabin is 46" wide inside. Gear is a robust strut design with all three tires the same 6.00X6, so grass fields would be no problem. Wing span is a little long IMO, 38' 11" makes a 40' door possible, but tight. The cowlings are a version V redesign they look good and provide very good cooling (more on that later). Power: It's powered by two 220HP counter rotating Conti. TSIO-360-RB's. The counter rotating props being the most interesting thing. Interior: Nice overall, but a little cheap for the cost of the aircraft. The engine controls for example were really stiff (friction was all the way out), lots of cheap plastic on the rear console, trim wheels, fuel selector, etc. Not a show stopper, but indicative of Piper's approach with the aircraft. Avionics: Piper did a great G1000 implementation two PFD's with one MFD center. Made complete sense for any twin possibly two pilot aircraft. Backup instruments were eliminated in favor of an aspen standby unit left of the pilots PFD. This one had active traffic, ADS-B, Vertical profile digital radar (vertical profile is the bomb IMO), dual AHRS (optional), and integrated engine management (left a little to be desired, but OK). They were real proud of the electroluminescent breaker panel (Nice, but ho humm IMO). Climate controls: We used both the A/C and heater within 10 min. Welcome to Texas! A/C worked great and we used it sitting at KADS for another 30 minute ground hold (VFR) in a glass bubble. Once airborne the temp quickly dropped to -10C, bring on the heat. Both worked very well and were appreciated on this trip. Let's fly this thing! First I have aggressive rudder foot syndrome. I am used to having to use a lot of rudder for almost anything and I do so unconsciously. This airplane doesn't need it with the counter rotating props. So this was an adjustment I would have to make all though out this flight. Put the power to it and it goes really good, rotate about 70, accel to blue line 88, climb out 110 at about 1500 FPM (close to gross). On the climb out I found it a little fidgety, not bad, but not jet like either, turning on the yaw dampener corrected that, but still left me wondering why. Control feel is more sporty and quick than I expected, overall a nice balance between stability and agility. OEI Performance: The thing you will hear often repeated is the 16,500' single engine service ceiling that these engines provide. I had a pretty poor impression of the DA-42's OEI performance when I tested it so I was keen to try this one. They didn't want to shut one down fully so they zero thrusted one. Really a non-event, my foot was left wanting something to do. We not only held 12,500 but were climbing at 500 FPM. I would say the OEI is as the book suggests and easy to accomplish. Fuel, leaning, engine management: LOP vs. ROP, what is your religion? How about just peak? Yup, that's right this is a bird that is most happy at dead peak. I've never experienced this before, but I played with this one 45 minutes to prove it to myself. Running at peak 75% power, about 30", no CHT was over 350-360, TIT was 1530ish. We had a 50 knot wind aloft so I made sure and run downwind to see if it would matter, it didn't. Cowls were closed the whole time. I messed with all kinds of settings and came to the conclusion that if it will run peak at cool temps that is the most speed for the fuel burn. At 12.5, 75% power, 156 KIAS, 350-360 CHT, 14 GPH per side. You can mess around from there but the gains are not that much. For example running the above configuration I showed an 800NM range. Running low power, LOP, go far mode, I lost over 20 knots and only increased the range to about 865NM. Lowest fuel burn I could get was about 11.8 per side at just under 130 indicated. Airwork: Nothing like telling a demo pilot and salesman you want to stall their new twin. The demo pilot flinched, the sales guy said, "just keep it coordinated", so we did. It stalls power off, just like any aircraft, about 62-63 knots, dropped the right wing some, nothing you couldn't pick up easily. I would call it middle of the road with Cirrus/Corvallis being the best by far. This also has envelope protection of sorts, bank more than 60 and it pulls you back to 45. Get it in an unusual attitude and they have a blue Level button that puts the aircraft straight and level using the autopilot (wonder where they got that idea?). All those things worked fine. Basically a straight forward flying aircraft. Overall: I am a hack pilot that spends more time reading aviation boards than I do flying. That said I was able to land twice at night, in a twin I've never flown, with only minor verbal guidance for the appropriate speeds and power settings. That should tell you that with some experience this is a piece of cake twin to fly. Also, given that we are talking about a FIKI, turbo, etc. bird, I found the workload to be very manageable. In 10 hours or less of transition training I believe I would be comfortable going anywhere in it including appropriate bad weather flying. Wishes: Not unique to Piper, but I get the sense that everyone is trying to keep up with Cirrus, not surpass them. The blue LVL button was just a straight ripoff IMO. I also saw an old airframe that had been gussied up with the new bells and whistles. Yes, there were some improvements like the cowlings (awesome cooling), but overall an older Seneca with a good paint job would be indistinguishable. I would also have liked to see things like LED lighting, TKS, or hot windshield as standard. Looking through a hot plate is just yesterday on a $1.3M bird. Speaking of standards, the option list is long, very long, I guess so they can accommodate any customer, but that said it would make sense to just standardize some of these things like dual AHRS, am safe belts, etc. Positives: Easy engine management for a twin turbo, amazingly easy. Heat was just not an issue to my surprise, but I didn't fly it out of Vegas on an August afternoon either. Straight forward airplane, just something that any pilot could get in and operate without being a Naval Test Pilot. Short field was awesome, 25 degree flaps, 38", release brakes, rotate at 70, and you're off in ~1600'. Given some practice it would be easy to land in a similar distance. So there you go, just my impressions on a 2 hour flight. I'm ready to hear from the experts.