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After T-5 and T-49trials Sukhoj OKB was ready to built interceptor of new generation - twin-engine aircraft with capable radar, armed with effective air-to-air missiles. But at the time (end of 50's) Soviet leadership (namely N.S.Khruschiov) was hypnotized by success of rocket weapons and aviation was considered in 'a dead end' of evolution.
Despite financial and political difficulties, test-pilot V.S.Ilyushin performed first flight on new T-48D-1 (May 30, 1961. This aircraft differed radically from all early generation jets, even from in closest predecessors. Large radar ('Oriol-D', 'Eagle-D') occupied whole front section of the fuselage, and air intakes were located behind the cockpit.
Technologically fuselage consisted of front an rear sections, which could be easily separated for engine service/replacement.Prototypes and early production aircraft had simple delta wing without 'wrapping'.
In 1965 the second prototype T-58D-2 was rebuilt into T-58L Flying Laboratory. Aircraft was used until 1966 to study ski landing gear, planned for Su-15T variant. Skis were tested on snow covered field, but were not installed on series aircraft.
Year later the first T-58D-1 was equipped with three lift engines (RD-36-35) to study handling of STOL aircraft during takeoff and landing approach. First flight (under designation T-58VD) was performed by V.S.Ilyushin in 1966. Results of one year trials prepared the basis for T-6-1 aircraft.