Rutan Quickie

Rutan hoped that the Quickie would make an attractive and exciting aircraft for a first-time homebuilder. In June of 1978 Jewett and Sheehan formed the Quickie Aircraft Corporation to produce and sell complete kits to build the aircraft. Kit production commenced in June 1978. By 1980, the Quickie Aircraft Corporation had sold 350 kits. Quickie Aircraft Corporation closed its doors in the mid 80’s. Other firms acquired the rights to market the Quickie. In all, various organizations sold approximately 1,000 Quickie kits.         Source of the above: Wikipedia.org

The Canard Airplane
 In aeronautics, canard refers to an arrangement in which a small forewing or foreplane is

Santos-Dumont 14-bis

placed ahead of the main wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The term “canard” arose from the appearance of the Santos-Dumont 14-bis airplane of 1906, which reminded the French people of a duck which in French iscanard. But in actuality, the Wright Flyer, three years earlier than the Santos-Dumont was also a canard.
 
The Wright Brothers began experimenting with the foreplane configuration around 1900. Their first kite included a front surface for pitch control and they adopted this configuration for their first Flyer. They were aware that Otto Lilienthal had been killed in a glider with an aft tail, due to a lack of pitch control. They expected a foreplane to be a better control surface, in addition to being visible to the pilot in flight. 

Wright Flyer Canard

After 1911, few canard types would be produced for many decades. In 1914 W.E. Evans commented that “the Canard type model has practically received its death-blow so far as scientific models are concerned.” 
With the arrival of the jet age and supersonic flight, American and Soviet designers continued to experiment with supersonic delta designs, with such aircraft as the North American XB-70 Valkyrie and the Soviet equivalent Sukhoi T-4 flying in prototype form. 

 

XB70

But it was not until 1967 that the Swedish Saab 37 Viggen became the first canard aircraft to enter production. The success of this aircraft spurred many designers, and Burt Rutan created a two seater homebuilt canard design, named VariViggen in 1972. His designs were not only successful and built in large numbers but radically different from anything seen before. Rutan’s ideas soon spread to other designers and from the 1980’s they found favor in the executive market. 
There are two types of canard designs: lift canards and control canards. In the lifting-canard configuration, the weight of the aircraft is shared between the wing and the canard. In particular, at takeoff the canard exerts an upward force relieving the load on the main wing so that it can be smaller than usual. To take care of other considerations, the main wing must be located further aft of the airplane center of gravity than with a conventional wing.
In a control-canard design, most of the weight of the aircraft is carried by the wing and the canard is used primarily for pitch control during
maneuvering. A pure control-canard operates only as a control surface and is nominally at zero angle of attack and carrying no load in flight.
Resource for the above: Wikipedia.org