Beginner | Recreational | Intermediate | Advanced | Expert
Following in the footsteps of the Nucleon, Nucleon WRC and Nucleon XX, the Nucleon 4 is the
upgrade that intermediate sport pilots have been waiting for. It’s a fun playful glider that
improves on some of the elements of its predecessors. Most notably, the Nucleon XX was a
product designed for the intermediate sport pilot but the wing came with a fast take–off run
and did not like being overloaded at all. The Nucleon 4 incorporates some of the advancements
the brand has made to mitigate these factors with much improved launch characteristics and
improved handling of the wing loading when getting to the maximum indicated load as per
The best description to describe the Nucleon 4 is to call it “the Sporty glider that is XC ready”.
The big reason for this is the fact that the glider comes with 2D steering but also includes an
additional set of TST toggles mounted close to the riser attachment points. This is the first glider
to incorporate it. What does this mean? The glider might have a sporty 5.60 Aspect Ratio which
is less specialized than the Dudek Hadron and Warp with 6.00 aspect ratios, however, with the
TST toggles the pilot can comfortably perform direction stability and input via these toggles as
their operational height is below shoulder level. Our tests flights showed that the Nucleon 4 is
incredibly stable at all speeds and does not oscillate but in the case of a pilot flying in rough,
turbulent air, oscillation could be a consequence as with any glider model and in this case the
glider is equipped with the TST to make the flight easy to accomplish. Importantly, Tip Steering
systems are not counter to Reflex Ability which means pilots can make direction inputs while
flying at fast speed settings via the TST system. This would not be safe via the brake controls as
these controls affects the reflex of the glider.
The out–of–ground–affect speed is a cool 26 KTS but the speed slows down to a slight walking
speed once inside Ground Affect with plenty of flare ability.
Closed Trim speed is 26KTS, Open Trims Speed is 32 KTS and Speed bar maximum Speed is
39KTS as observed with a wing loading of within 10kgs of maximum weight on a size 22.
The climb rate will be affected by the engine size thus there is no accurate indication that can
be given on this, but the WINGMAN can indicate that it’s a few Feet Per Second less than the
Dudek Warp of similar wing loading, engine size and pilot.
The Nucleon is an excellent, and perhaps best choice for a pilot doing a step–up from the Dudek
Solo, mostly wanting to do Sport and Playful flying with the occasional XC. In comparison with
the Hadron 3 of similar weight category, the Nucleon will be a little bigger in size, would be a
little slower and would use slightly more fuel. The question every pilot would have to ask when
making this consideration would be, is XC flying my primary goal or is it Sport flying with XC as
my secondary goal.