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

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

Puller vs Pusher Drone

In aviation, an airplane with a puller motor (additionally named tractor) can have the motor mounted on the nostril of the airplane behind propellers or in entrance of the wings. Jet planes have motors located in the back of the airplane, exercising unbelievable thrust. They’re categorised 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 find out 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 can 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 may 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, typically, is that when the drone lands, it could possibly land on the highest nostril of the propellers with a excessive danger of damaging them

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

Yet one more unbelievable instance of a pusher drone is the DJI Avata. That’s an amazing instance of a pusher drone. Possibly that’s why it has a number of points tumbling over when aggressively turning yaw or going through greater winds.

✅ Execs

  • It has higher thrust on account of much less air friction when propellers push air. 
  • Extra passable vitality administration.
  • Pusher drones hover higher and might 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 may be barely off as a result of motors and propellers’ positioning on the drone, growing the probabilities for pusher drones to tumble. A working example can 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 may be induced.
  • When touchdown a pusher drone, propellers and motors are extra uncovered to reducing grass and getting broken by uneven surfaces (after all, all of it is determined by the drone’s construction)

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

Puller drones

Picture: Gabriel Mihalcea

The drones we frequently see within the sky, and even the basic 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 just a little bit much less thrust than a pusher drone, they’re extra steady, safer to fly and use, and have higher management total.

Due to the drone’s aerodynamics, some puller drones additionally profit from the speedy cooling of inner components as a result of propeller’s placement (barely above the drone). Whereas it’s not all the time the case, it’s one thing price mentioning.

✅ Execs

  • A puller drone (tractor) has higher flight stability and fewer air drag, which can lead to 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 elevate 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 further thrust to compensate for the air friction a drone’s design induces. 

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

Effectivity vs Stability

In the end, it will not be a private selection if you happen to’re in search of the very best drone construct, whether or not we’re speaking about commonplace 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 total, it’s higher to personal a drone kind of puller (a.ok.a., tractor) the place the motors and propellers are going through upward.

That might be an total selection even when the pusher drones have higher thrust efficiency and energy effectivity. These pusher drones show to perform higher at gradual speeds with improved hovering stability

In the end, we now have to have a look at the larger image. How are most drones available on the market constructed? And I’m speaking concerning the giant 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 way of the drone propellers, the place the arms and drone construct play a vital aerodynamic position for higher effectivity.

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

Constructing your personal FPV drone – Puller or Pusher?

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

Pusher drones are higher once 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. Additionally they can attain excessive speeds, though pushers have higher lift-to-weight ratios.

So, if you happen to’re confused by the entire mechanism and construction and are undecided on what to select, it could be ultimate 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 if you happen to 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 (beginner), 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 airplane are extremely environment friendly and supply a lot better stability.

It is 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 number of uncommon exceptions the place some drones are constructed with eight rotors as an alternative of 4.

Right here, we now have the kind of multi-rotor drone with eight arms, and on every arm, there’s a motor with propellers (often tractor). They’re best 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 – mainly 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 position. Loads of air vitality is misplaced when the highest motor (tractor) pushes air by way of the blades on the pusher motor and blades.

The vitality effectivity may be diminished, 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 this planet of science, checks and experiments have been carried out for each pushers and tractor (puller) kinds of multi-rotor drones to show their effectivity and supply outcomes that will serve the ultimate product higher.

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

Eclectic experiments concluded that pusher drones have a better lift-to-weight ratio however are additionally traded towards a decrease lift-to-drag ratio for the 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 gradual flight missions, corresponding to local-area surveillance and inspection, whereas a tractor design is extra environment friendly for missions requiring considerable transit, corresponding to package deal supply.

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


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

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

  • Puller drones (tractors) are higher and extra frequent. They’re discovered in every single 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; in addition they have higher vitality effectivity and better lift-to-weight ratio, however they’re additionally vulnerable to propeller injury relying on the drone construction, and you’ll’t hand-land a pusher drone.

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

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