A lifting-canard aircraft, such as the Long-EZ, is an aircraft with the main wing at the back end of the fuselage and a pair of small, highly-loaded canards attached to the forward fuselage; the canards fly at a higher angle of attack than the main wing, and, consequently, provide a significant amount of lift in addition to pitch control.1
During a sharp pitchup in a lifting-canard aircraft, the canards, being at a higher angle of attack than the main wing, stall first, causing the aircraft to automatically pitch down before the wing ever stalls. As the wing, with the ailerons on it, remains unstalled throughout, roll control is preserved, without any of the violent rolling inherent in stalled control-tail aircraft.2 As the canards are stalled, pitch control is lost until they unstall, but, in this case, you don’t need pitch control, because the aircraft pitches down and recovers all on its own, without the need for any manual control inputs;3 this actually has the benefit of making lifting-canard aircraft practically unstallable (for the main wing, anyways) barring the separation of large parts of the airframe. In addition, as the surface providing most of the aircraft’s lift never stalls, the overall loss of lift when the canards stall is fairly minor, and the aircraft’s handling characteristics remain benign throughout.
In contrast, while a control-tail aircraft will usually also pitch down when the main wings stall, this is dependent on the stabiliser trim setting, and, if the center of mass is near the forward limit (necessitating considerable nose-up stabiliser trim), the aircraft may actually pitch up in a stall. Also, if the aircraft does pitch down, it does so quite violently, as the majority of the aircraft’s lift is suddenly lost, and with large, violent, largely-uncontrollable roll oscillations (as the ailerons are located on the main wing, which is stalled). And, because the surfaces used for pitch control are not yet stalled, pitch control is preserved, allowing the pilots to hold the aircraft in the stall.
Given the considerable safety advantages of the lifting-canard configuration, why don’t we see any lifting-canard airliners?
1: As opposed to a control-canard aircraft, such as the Flyer, where the canards fly at a nominally-zero angle of attack, are used only for pitch control, and make these aircraft utter beasts to fly without a computer making constant control inputs.
2: Aircraft with a tail-mounted horizontal stabiliser and elevator which (nominally) fly at a lower angle of attack than the main wings. Examples include most aircraft ever.
3: In contrast, control-canard aircraft pitch violently up as they stall (because the main wing, being at a higher angle of attack than the canards, stalls first), and, therefore, require aggressive nose-down control inputs to recover before the canards stall as well and pitch control is effectively lost; lifting-tail aircraft (with a tail-mounted horizontal stabiliser and elevator that fly at a higher angle of attack than the main wings) also pitch up, for the same reason, except that this happens well before the main wings stall, and is coupled with a simultaneous, near-total loss of pitch control as the horizontal tail stalls (making stalls completely unrecoverable for lifting-tail aircraft using only the usual aerodynamic surfaces for control).