Waiter, et al.
Thank you for the insightful responses to my query. I must say, the answers aren't a huge surprise to me -- given the age of the Vari-Eze and its ancestors, it would likely be a mod I've read about.
The explanation about canard loading makes a great deal of sense. I suppose I should have figured that one out on my own, but I'm new to considering a canard.
For the poster above: No, I've never gotten to fly in any of the EZ-type aircraft. I sat in one in an airshow once. The look and cross country performance are whatattracted me to the build -- plus I'm interested in getting a Mazda 13B to work on an airplane, and it matches up nicely with the EZ, performance wise.
Waiter's sig actually sums up what I'm shooting for: F-16 performance on a piper cub budget. Actually, considering the prices of Cubs and Super Cubs these days, let's hope it's cheaper than that.
The reason for a steerable nosewheel is simple: I'm used to it. I can see how relying on differential braking would work just fine, though.
The retract nose gear is a concern for me. I suppose I'll just build the Wright (or equivalent) electrical easy lift into my plane from the start, and build in some rock solid warning systems.
Thanks for the replies, folks. Now, if someone can release a set of plans that would let me build my plane to Berkut standards, I'd be in heaven. 300 knots sounds good to me. Gives me an excuse to find a 3 rotor turbo mazda engine.
If anyone in the Anchorage area has an EZ and is willing to demo it, I'd happily pay your expenses for an hour, and throw in dinner at Simon and Seafort's.