Throughout the years of Comanche development, Ed Swearengen was hired a number of times by Piper to help with new designs. In 1960, Piper sent Ed a stock PA-24, along with a pair of 160 HP Lycomings.
--- Ed installed the engines with prop shaft extensions and the experimental design proved to be a success.
---and N7000Y, the PA-30 prototype, first flew in 1962. Also pictured here are the first two production Twins. The first production Twin Comanche was delivered in 1963 at a price of $33,900.
In 1964 Piper asked Ed Swearengen to do some experimenting with more horsepower in the Twin Comanche. Ed installed a pair of 290 HP IO-540 Lycomings in N7000Y. The performance proved to be nothing short of incredible.
Note the added rudder trim tab in this photo. One story has it, that when Ed was out flying one day he came upon a Mooney being flown by the test pilots out of Kerrville. Ed feathered an engine and zoomed past them. And then, just to make sure that they wouldn't go back and tell the story of how this nut in a Twin Comanche came diving down from behind and cut an engine just before passing them, Ed went out ahead of the Mooney, made a 180 degree turn in front of it, flew back around behind them, and passed them again!
As fast as this airplane was, it was TOO powerful. It was a handful to fly, and there was insufficient directional control. There was talk of installing the larger Aztec tail to improve controllability, but the project was eventually scrapped.