The Yak-7 started out to be a trainer but was later used as a fighter due to shortages of fighters.
In late 1939 Yakovlev began design on a dual seat trainer version of the I-26.
In June 1940 the I-26 trainer first flew.
The Yak-7M-82 prototype flew in February 1942.
The Yak-7s were used by France and the Soviet Union.
The Yak-7Bs were primarily used for ground attack and as a low altitude fighter.
After the Yak-9 was introduced the Yak-7s were put into secondary duties.