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The propellers of a front-mounted propeller plane push air back directly on a collision course with the aircraft's body. That results in zero thrust or negative thrust from at least some sections of the propeller that are close to the body, thus making the engine work harder and use more fuel as the air bounces back from the body towards the propeller.

Would it not be better to mount single propeller engines somewhere at the back of the plane, where all of the propeller is generating thrust?

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    $\begingroup$ I believe you're asking if pusher propellers are more efficient than pullers $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Jan 25 '18 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Your question was very difficult to understand, I've simplified it to what I think is the core point you're getting at, but if I got it wrong then you can just re-edit or roll back. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 25 '18 at 15:11