Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio

FIVE Year Warranty!

Regular Price: $399.00

Special Price $329.00

Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a complete standby radio stack in your flight bag. The all-in-one radio makes a reliable backup for emergency use, but it’s also perfect for listening to ATIS, getting clearances before engine start or just monitoring local traffic.

But a great radio is worthless if it’s hard to use. That’...

Read more

Upgraded screen - better contrast and adjustable backlight for improved sunlight readability. 

The award-winning SP-400 is simply the most powerful portable radio you can buy—like having a complete standby radio stack in your flight bag. The all-in-one radio makes a reliable backup for emergency use, but it’s also perfect for listening to ATIS, getting clearances before engine start or just monitoring local traffic.

But a great radio is worthless if it’s hard to use. That’s why our staff of pilots, flight instructors and aircraft owners spent so much time making the SP-400 intuitive and easy to use. It has all the features you need, but none that you don’t. There are no confusing menus, no memory bands and no complicated squelch buttons—just turn it on and type in a frequency. After all, an emergency is no time to look for an instruction manual. Includes alkaline battery pack, antenna, wrist strap and instruction manual. Measures 5 1/2”h x 2 1/4”w x 1 5/8”d.  Five year warranty.

Why the SP-400 is the pilot-friendly radio:

  • Oversized, high-resolution screen—twice as large as most other radios
  • Enhanced screen backlight with adjustable contrast for better sunlight readability
  • Large, soft keypad is easy to use, even in turbulence
  • No menus or memory banks—just type in the frequency
  • One-handed operation for fast emergency access
  • Unmatched battery life, powered by easy-to-find AAs
  • Quick-change battery pack—switch in just 3 seconds!
  • Backlit screen and keypad
  • Dedicated squelch and volume knobs for precise adjustment

COM

Sp-400 NAV
  • Last frequency flip flop makes it easy to switch back and forth 
  • Visual memory recall shows five memory channels per screen 

NAV

  • Full ILS display—the only portable radio with this feature! 
  • VOR with large CDI display and automatic bearing-to-station readout 

Weather

SP-400 Weather
  • NOAA weather radio receiver built in
  • Nationwide coverage with pre-programmed stations

Emergency

  • Dedicated 121.5 button for instant emergency communications
  • Sidetone—hear yourself talk when using a headset

Aviation Consumer's "Gear of the Year!"

  • "...better than some panel-mounted gear."
  • "Sporty's SP-400 Shines. Its performance is clearly exceptional."
  • "You can easily pick this unit up and use all of its features without touching the manual."
  • "...it's a solid bargain."

Additional Resources

Click Here for Instruction Manual

Click here to view The Aviation Consumers "Portable VHF Radios: Sporty's SP-400 Shines" Article

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh News review

What's the range of portable aviation radios? We went flying to find out. Click here to read the article

Hal Shevers

Founder/Chairman—Sporty’s Pilot Shop

Since our very first product was an aviation radio, I’m partial to our SP-400 Hand-held NAV/COM. It’s an amazingly powerful radio, and one I never could have dreamed of in 1961.

Eric Carnahan

Ask a Pilot Expert—Customer Service

Have questions?

We can help!

Our expert pilots are available to answer your questions.

Ask our experts: AskAPilot@sportys.com

Reviews

Customer Reviews 10 item(s)

1-10 of 205

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 21

Summary

4.15 of 5 stars (205 reviews)

5 stars
96
4 stars
72
3 stars
21
2 stars
13
1 star
2
Rock Solid ILS

Recommended

As an EMS helicopter pilot, having both GPS units fail simultaneously prompted me to purchase this radio. I have been able to receive ATIS, tower and approach at my home 5 miles away. Have not used transmission yet, but from inside the cockpit of EC-135 without an external antenna, the ILS was dead on course and glideslope during a coupled approach.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Don Barnett | 2/5/2017
Great, but needs 8.33 transmit capacity for UK or European use.

Recommended

Great in all ways and ILS works perfectly. Battery use fine, I carry spares, easy to do. Does not apply in US, but needs a way to modify/update to transmit on 8.33 spacing to use in UK or Europe soon.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Mike Sutherland | 1/11/2017
Easy to use and well appointed

Recommended

Bought as a gift for our son who is a new private pilot. Well built and easy to use. Drawn to the ILS capabilities as a backup. He seems thoroughly happy with the unit.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
John | RENO, Nevada, US | 12/29/2016
Must Have

Recommended

This radio is a basic for any flight bag. I enjoy the intuitive features of it. It's as simple as entering the frequency you need for whatever you need to do. Of course you can read the simple instructions if you want to put your common frequencies in the memory function. Having this radio adds another layer of safety.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Mark | GRESHAM, Oregon, US | 12/3/2016
What a powerful handheld radio

Recommended

I bought this radio to replace my JD-200 which I had since 1997. What an upgrade! I wish I had bought it sooner but at the time it didn't make sense because I had a functioning ground/air radio. The larger display and buttons are so much easier to use. I transferred my JD-200 accessories to the new SP-400 belt clip, headset connectors, and my extended antenna.
I'm very pleased with the quality and feel of this radio. It was a great run with the JD-200 and I expect the SP-400 will be good for the next decade.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Scott | WYNNEWOOD, Pennsylvania, US | 11/22/2016
No Battery

Recommended

Great product but beware doesn't come with a battery, sold separately for additional $99.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Ted | GLADSTONE, Oregon, US | 10/14/2016
Good Radio

Recommended

I haven't had the radio long enough to really give a reliability rating, but the radio is very good and works great!!
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Jack | CHERRY HL VLG, Colorado, US | 10/8/2016
Great Backup, but NOT intuitive

Recommended

Love the radio as a backup. However, using the memory for your frequencies and operating for VOR / ILS is not intuitive. Because of the complexity of needing to press multiple keys to do things, such as change the OBS, I don't think I could figure it out in a pinch, unless I had the instructions. However, for basic communications, it is simple to enter a frequency to listen to or talk on a frequency.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Ralph | 10/5/2016
Do NOT Leave The Alkaline Battery Pack On Radio When Not in Use!

Recommended

Love the radio for the most part, however, DO NOT LEAVE THE ALKALINE BATTERY PACK (#1613A) CONNECTED TO THE RADIO BETWEEN FLIGHTS!!! I'm sure glad I took the time to check the radio before a recent flight. I had installed eight brand new Duracell AA batteries Alkaline Copper Top batteries the week before, and when I checked the radio the BATTERIES WERE DEAD. Tried it again, just to be sure, and again, all eight batteries were COMPLETELY DRAINED. I put a Spare Alkaline Battery Pack on the radio, which had brand new batteries installed, and that worked perfectly. THE BATTERY DRAIN IS RIDICULOUS to say the least. And besides not leaving the battery pack connected to the radio between flights, I highly recommend purchasing the backup battery pack as well as the cigarette lighter power adapter (#7243A).
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Ellexis | CORP CHRISTI, Texas, US | 9/11/2016
A bit clunky but very functional.

Recommended

This radio provides both comm and nav capability and has reasonably good reception. It is also one of the lighter radios providing these functions. Some of the buttons could use further labelling and the use of the 'Clear' key as a shift key could be better explained and labelled. The external physical design of the set is clunky and feels old fashioned.

I cannot really comment on reliability because just received the unit, but it did work right out of the box.
Overall
Durability
Reliability
Performed as Expected
Ease of use
Value
Peter N. Steinmetz | TEMPE, Arizona, US | 9/9/2016

1-10 of 205

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 21
Question and Answer
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 14 questions Browse 14 questions and 27 answers
can it be hooked up to the airplanes antenna?
A shopper on Aug 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Not unless the antenna is disconnected from the existing radios; and then, you (more likely, your radio shop) would need to ensure proper impedence matching. A cheaper and simpler solution is the optional Remote Antenna Mount, which allows the antenna to be positioned in a side window or other favorable location for improved reception.
Does a new certified remote pilot need a license to use the SP-400 handheld transceiver? Beginning last Monday, some remote pilots would appreciate the use of a transceiver for the same short correct comms with ATC when inside or under controlled airspace just to advise ATC of their ID and location before and after takeoff, which is required in the authorization (usually) given days before. The alternative is to use the mobile phone, but that adds to the tower workload. This is being discussed in formums now.
A shopper on Sep 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Per current FCC rules, an FAA-licensed airplane automatically receives a radiotelephone station license, and a licensed pilot receives a radiotelephone operator's license to operate the radios in the plane. Neither a UAS (as the station) nor a remote pilot (as the operator) would appear to benefit from these dispensations. If you Google "airplane radio license" you'll find this info at the FCC website.
Can you hook up a handheld mic/speaker to the sp400?
GliderPilot on Jul 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Although I don't have that setup, I would think if your plugs and jacks are standard that it would probably work. I purchased the adapters from Sporty's which plug into the SP400 and then allow you to plug in your headset. You now transmit using the PTT button on the SP400 and headset mic. The side tone generated allows you to hear your transmissions. Received communications are through the headset of course.
8.33 compatible ?
Cédric C on Dec 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It receives 8.33 kHz but will only transmit on 25 kHz.
Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400
A shopper on Sep 1, 2016
I just tuned it to Cincinnati Approach from home, but can't hear anything; is this normal?
A shopper on Oct 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes this is normal most of the time unless you are at or very close to the airport. My SP 400 is the same and only picks up traffic close to me, but picks up fine and works quite well once airborne. If you get the SP400 in the air and see no change you should call sportys for an exchange.
How far is the range on this unit...Please?!
A shopper on Sep 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: According to the product manual, the transmit power is 5 watts at 85% modulation. For comparison, the transmit power of the common Bendix-King KX125 panel nav-com is 5 watts minimum, 7 watts nominal. Thus, range is potentially similar to that of a panel nav-com. The limiting factor is primarily the antenna and the shielding of the airframe, and the latter is specific to your airplane -- my results don't count.
my son is a pilot wants two way hand held radio in case his radio in airplane fails. is this what he needs?
A shopper on Dec 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a good choice. With the Sporty's Headset adapter (P/N 8635A - $26) he can plug directly into his headset
Some of the comments indicate that the 400 eats a lot of batteries. Two points: Can it be plugged in a lighter plug to operate it and/or to recharge rechargables AA's or the Ni-Mah battery pack while in use? Thanks
Charles B on Sep 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes it can be plugged into the lighter for use and charging. However, for use as a backup, fully charged batteries will last long enough to get you down safely. That said, I plan on buying the Ni-Mah battery and desktop charger. For me, it adds just a little more peace of mind.
I'm a UAV Pilot, and while all my flying and video/photography work is in accordance with our transport ministry, I'd like to have coms if we are operating in or near private strips or helipads. (Eg. We were doing roof inspections near a hospital that turned out to be the region trauma centre for air evacuations) would this radio be suitable for contacting ATC or aircraft to inform them of our operational ceiling and location? The pilot/controllers are ground based often in urban areas although occasionally we assist with search and rescue work.
Elliott R on Dec 30, 2016
BEST ANSWER: ctr ( control zone) or ATZ (aerodrome traffic zone) is classified as air space from A-D. In any of this air spaces Must have Bilateral & Continuos radio comunications. The airspace of a CTR (includes a strip inside) usually is 5NM circle lateral limits, and from ground/2000"vertical. i have an apartement 1Nm from TWR LPPR and my experience says: comunications ground-ground are poor (i never had ctc with Twr from home GND-AIR is ok in ctr limits for low altitude!
Conclusion: for traffic information ...you shpuld always report begining and end of activity in the frequency
May I use the sp400 in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany?
thijshe on Nov 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Why not? Whats matter , is that ' if you have a rádio qualification for air-air or air-atc' transmitions!
What is the comm output transmit power?
David C on Nov 21, 2016
BEST ANSWER: 5 watts.
I'm considering this SP-400 and find the battery comments discouraging. Could it be the peak current drain during transmitting damaging the fragile Alkaline battery chemistry? Has anyone used Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) cells in this radio? If it kills batteries while NOT in-use, it would be a worthless device.
A shopper on Oct 5, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I bought this handheld and put in high dollar camera batteries ( I never trust rechargeables) I pull it out and listen to the atis every prior to every flight and now and then give it a transmit radio check with ground cont.
Works like it should... I read folks whining that they left it fallow for a long time and it was dead when they needed it.... If you are relying on a piece of hardware (that runs on batteries) best to check it....
"dig you well before your thirsty"
Is there a way to make it transmit on 8.33 spacing, even if at a cost to modify? That is what questions about using in Europe etc mean. Europe and the UK are changing to 8.33 spacing and this radio will soon have no use there unless it can be adapted to transmit on 8.33. Thanks ps Very annoying for us, but we have no choice.
mikeSutherland s on Jan 11, 2017
Also Purchased
Accessories
Order With Confidence

Our Guarantee

Our guarantee has not changed since we introduced our first product in 1962. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, let us know – we will make it right. If you would like a refund or exchange, please return the product on a timely basis (within 30 days), in the same condition in which it was received. After 30 days, we will continue to support the product for a full year, but refunds and exchanges are not accepted. Personalized products such as embroidered shirts or engraved glasses are not returnable.

Price Guarantee

Sporty’s guarantees competitive pricing on everything we sell. If you find a competitor offering an identical item at a lower advertised price, just mail or fax us the ad, and Sporty’s will match that price.

Standard Express Shipping

We offer the fastest shipping in the business, so you won’t have to wait for your important charts or a last-minute gift. Since we stock almost everything we sell, we offer same day shipping: in-stock orders placed by 5pm Eastern (weekdays), will be shipped that same day, often within minutes of ordering.

Orders shipping to the United States have three shipping options: ground (which typically takes 3-5 days), 2-day air, or overnight. Note that these are days in transit are business days, so Saturday and Sunday are not included. We ship by UPS and US Mail.

Overnight shipping is also available on most items.

Shipping Zone Map

Return Policy

For over 50 years, in addition to same day shipping, Sporty’s has offered same day returns and same day exchanges. Each day, we process all returns and exchanges before new orders go out. We know of no other company who does this!

Sporty’s Shops
ATTN: Returns Dept
Clermont County/Sporty’s Airport
2001 Sporty’s Drive
Batavia, OH 45103
Customer Service
Privacy Policy