A fairly modern trend in aeroplane design (well actually, the Wright Brothers used one in their Wright Flyer, so it's just been revived) in which the horizontal stabilizer, which is canonically found behind the wing, is placed in front of the wing. While this usually requires that the engine, if it's propellor-driven, to be at the aft end of the aeroplane, it not only makes the aeroplane slightly more stable, but it makes it more stall-resistant. When you are in a steep climb in a canard-toting aeroplane, when it stalls, the canard will stall first, while in the canonical design, the wing would stall first. This makes it so that the forward section of the aeroplane will sink closer to the horizon, thus usually preventing the wing from stalling.

Ca*nard" (?), n. [F., properly, a duck.]

An extravagant or absurd report or story; a fabricated sensational report or statement; esp. one set afloat in the newspapers to hoax the public.

 

© Webster 1913.

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