The Sh-7 was intended for operation by Aeroflot and Glavsevmorput and
design started late 1938. Water trials started in the spring of 1940
and on June 16 the amphibian made its maiden flight with Ye.O.
Feydorenko at the controls. Factory trials ended in September, after
that it was tested by the SNII (aeroplane scientific test institute)
and declared ready for series production in December 1940.
WW II prevented this, but the sole prototype, registered
CCCP-359, was used intensively during war in the south-east of
Russia, flying urgent goods along the southern leg of the Volga.
The aircraft had a hull of metal as was the construction of the
flying surfaces, the latter being fabric covered. The main landing
gear was manually operated and folded upwards until wheels where
flush in side of hull. The aircraft seated six persons of which two
in the cockpit, cargo could also be loaded through a roof hatch just
aft of the wing.