The 1973 Paris Air Show crash was the crash of the second production Tupolev Tu-144 at Goussainville, Val-d'Oise, France, which killed all six crew and eight people on the ground. The crash, at the Paris Air Show on 3 June 1973, damaged the development program of the Tupolev Tu-144. One theory is that a French Mirage jet sent to photograph the aircraft without the knowledge of the Soviet crew caused the pilots to take evasive manoeuvers, resulting in the crash. Another theory is that in a rivalry with the Anglo-French Concorde, the pilots attempted a maneuver that was beyond the capabilities of the aircraft.
The aircraft involved was Tupolev Tu-144S CCCP-77102, manufacturer's serial number 01-2, the second production Tu-144. The aircraft had first flown on 29 March 1972. This aircraft had been heavily modified compared to the initial prototype, now featuring engine nacelles split on either side of the fuselage, landing gear that retracted into the nacelles, and retractable canards. The pilot was Mikhail Kozlov, and the co-pilot was Valery M. Molchanov. Also on board were G. N. Bazhenov, the flight navigator, V. N. Benderov, deputy chief designer and engineer major-general, B. A. Pervukhin, senior engineer, and A. I. Dralin, flight engineer. The crash occurred in front of 250,000 people, including designer Alexei Tupolev, towards the end of the show.
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