Puller vs. Pusher Drone – Which is Extra Environment friendly? – Droneblog


Just like aviation, drones can are available in a pusher or puller configuration.

Puller vs Pusher Drone

In aviation, an airplane with a puller motor (additionally named tractor) may have the motor mounted on the nostril of the aircraft behind propellers or in entrance of the wings. Jet planes have motors located behind the aircraft, exercising unbelievable thrust. They’re categorized as pushers.

Now, for a drone, this may be barely complicated. However keep tuned as a result of this text will discover the whole lot you ever have to learn about puller and pusher drones and which is extra environment friendly.

Pusher drones

DJI Avata
Picture: Droneblog

Solely a minimal variety of drones have the pusher configuration. On this state of affairs, the drone may have the motors mounted decrease on the body and the other way up, with the propellers going through the bottom.

Statistically, a pusher drone can generate extra thrust and has higher vitality administration. If that’s the case, why don’t we see extra of these, and why they’re so uncommon?

It’s due to the general management and aerodynamics. Whereas a pusher drone DOES generate extra thrust, it additionally induces much more air drag, which could be daunting for fine-controlling the drone.

One instance of a drone operating beneath such a configuration is the iProtek 25 Pusher model. 

One other main drawback of a pusher drone, FPV, on the whole, is that when the drone lands, it may well land on the highest nostril of the propellers with a excessive threat of damaging them

Additionally, it implies that hand-landing a drone is completely not attainable. However we’ll get extra into that later.

Yet one more implausible instance of a pusher drone is the DJI Avata. That’s a fantastic instance of a pusher drone. Possibly that’s why it has a couple of points tumbling over when aggressively turning yaw or going through increased winds.

✅ Professionals

  • It has higher thrust because of much less air friction when propellers push air. 
  • Extra passable vitality administration.
  • Pusher drones hover higher and may carry out excellently with slow-type flights.
  • Total, the aerodynamics of such drones lead to a bit extra flight time if the ability administration is offset accurately.

❌ Cons

  • The gravity middle could be barely off because of the motors and propellers’ positioning on the drone, rising the probabilities for pusher drones to tumble. A working example could be DJI Avata.
  • It requires higher changes and configurations to make these extra steady for flights.
  • Pusher drones have extra air drag, and extra vibration could be induced.
  • When touchdown a pusher drone, propellers and motors are extra uncovered to chopping grass and getting broken by uneven surfaces (after all, all of it relies on the drone’s construction)

» MORE: DJI Avata vs. Cinebot 30 (Right here’s My Alternative)

Puller drones

Picture: Gabriel Mihalcea

The drones we regularly see within the sky, and even the traditional graphic illustration of a drone, are certainly puller drones.

These are the usual kind of drone the place the motors are positioned above the arm with the propellers going through upwards.

Whereas these drones generate a little bit bit much less thrust than a pusher drone, they’re extra steady, safer to fly and use, and have higher management general.

Due to the drone’s aerodynamics, some puller drones additionally profit from the speedy cooling of inner elements because of the propeller’s placement (barely above the drone). Whereas it’s not at all times the case, it’s one thing price mentioning.

✅ Professionals

  • A puller drone (tractor) has higher flight stability and fewer air drag, which may end up in higher management.
  • Puller drones are extra appropriate for a transit kind of flight (e.g., long-range) and for performing drone deliveries, though pusher drones can carry extra.

❌ Cons

  • Worse vitality effectivity: it was scientifically proved that tractor/puller kind of drones have a much less environment friendly vitality consumption ratio than pusher drones
  • The thrust ensuing from puller drones is noticeably worse than the pusher. A puller drone’s aerodynamics show that motors should train additional thrust to compensate for the air friction a drone’s design induces. 

» MORE: DJI FPV vs. Mini 2 (Right here’s My Alternative)

Effectivity vs Stability

In the end, it might not be a private selection in the event you’re in search of the very best drone construct, whether or not we’re speaking about customary GPS drones or an FPV drone. 

We have to observe the scientific course of in an effort to profit probably the most from a drone, and general, it’s higher to personal a drone kind of puller (a.okay.a., tractor) the place the motors and propellers are going through upward.

That may be an general selection even when the pusher drones have higher thrust efficiency and energy effectivity. These pusher drones show to operate higher at sluggish speeds with improved hovering stability

In the end, we’ve to take a look at the larger image. How are most drones available on the market constructed? And I’m speaking in regards to the massive majority, approximating over 90% of the drones.

They’re all pullers (tractors) with the motors and propellers going through upwards. The air is pulled straight from above and pushed by means of the drone propellers, the place the arms and drone construct play a vital aerodynamic function for higher effectivity.

» MORE: FPV Drones vs. Common Drones (Defined for Learners)

Constructing your individual FPV drone – Puller or Pusher?

Now, it could all rely on what you’re seeking to do with the drone.

Pusher drones are higher after we’re contemplating the Cinewhoop facet, as they’re particularly suited to slow-type flights and longer flights. 

On the similar time, puller drones have proved to be extra environment friendly in freestyle management and racing. In addition they can attain excessive speeds, though pushers have higher lift-to-weight ratios.

So, in the event you’re confused by the entire mechanism and construction and are undecided on what to select, it could be very best to easily go along with a puller (tractor) kind of FPV drone.

Pushers additionally require extra PID tuning and Betaflight configurations to make them extra steady in flights. 

And let’s not neglect, pusher drones may undergo from occasional tumbling, particularly in the event you put a bigger battery on high of the drone and the gravity middle is off-put by the motors and propellers positioning on the body.

» MORE: Shopping for a Drone vs. Constructing It: Which Is Greatest?

Fastened-wing: Pusher or Puller?

Once we discuss with the home-built and customized kind of mounted wings (novice), going with the tractor (puller) kind of configuration the place the engines and propellers are set in entrance of the motor/wings or on the entrance of the aircraft are extremely environment friendly and supply significantly better stability.

It’s because the propellers are positioned in entrance of the gravity middle of the fixed-wing drone.

8-rotor Drones: Pusher and Puller

There are a couple of uncommon exceptions the place some drones are constructed with eight rotors as an alternative of 4.

Right here, we’ve the kind of multi-rotor drone with eight arms, and on every arm, there’s a motor with propellers (often tractor). They’re most effective at lifting heavy objects and exercising a excessive lift-to-weight ratio.

Additionally, I’ve seen one distinctive design the place two motors with two propellers are located on a drone arm, one going through upwards and one downwards – principally pusher and puller on the similar time.

Now, within the logical conclusion, an 8-rotor drone would do higher if every of the motors is about to a person arm, proving to be extra environment friendly in lift-to-weight ratio and vitality consumption.

The aerodynamics of each push/puller drones with two motors and propellers on one arm could play a major function. A whole lot of air vitality is misplaced when the highest motor (tractor) pushes air by means of the blades on the pusher motor and blades.

The vitality effectivity could be lowered, particularly if the highest and backside motors are rotating at totally different RPMs (which they shouldn’t).

» MORE: Greatest Industrial Drones for Land Surveying

Engineer’s perspective

On the earth of science, assessments and experiments have been carried out for each pushers and tractor (puller) varieties of multi-rotor drones to show their effectivity and supply outcomes that will serve the ultimate product higher.

A paper was printed on the College of Michigan referred to as Experimental Investigation of Tractor and Pusher Hexacopter Efficiency by Prashin Sharma and Ella Atkins. Numerous experiments had been carried out in numerous dynamic assessments, corresponding to wind tunnels.

Eclectic experiments concluded that pusher drones have the next lift-to-weight ratio however are additionally traded towards a decrease lift-to-drag ratio for this sort of hexacopter design.

On the opposite facet, puller drones, often known as tractors, are extra environment friendly in proving higher stability and flight dynamics, however on the similar time, they devour a higher quantity of vitality to offer the identical thrust efficiency as a pusher Hexacopter.

Within the experiment, at slower speeds of two.2m/s, the tractor hexacopter required 7% extra vitality than the pusher model from the experiments carried out within the wind tunnel.

A pusher design is extra environment friendly for hovering and sluggish flight missions, corresponding to local-area surveillance and inspection, whereas a tractor design is extra environment friendly for missions requiring considerable transit, corresponding to bundle supply.

By Prashin Sharma and Ella Atkins in Experimental Investigation of Tractor and Pusher Hexacopter Efficiency


I’m conscious that this text turned very technical, however there’s a logical purpose and experimentation to show the effectivity of each pusher and puller drones.

To conclude this, I’ll make it quite simple in a couple of traces:

  • Puller drones (tractors) are higher and extra widespread. They’re discovered all over the place, and most drones have a puller configuration. They’re extra environment friendly at flying longer ranges and have higher stability, management, and fewer air drag.
  • On the opposite facet, pusher drones have higher hovering stability and carry out higher at flying at low speeds; additionally they have higher vitality effectivity and better lift-to-weight ratio, however they’re additionally liable to propeller harm relying on the drone construction, and you may’t hand-land a pusher drone.

» MORE: Can Drone Propellers Damage You? Right here’s What You Have to Know