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

FIVE Year Warranty!

Regular Price: $399.00

Special Price $329.00

Regular Price: $399.00

Special Price $329.00

Availability: In stock

Product ID: 7758A

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’...

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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 (store 20 total) 

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
 

Why we recommend AA batteries

You'll notice the SP-400 comes standard with a AA battery pack - not a rechargeable lithium-ion or NiMH pack. We believe this is the right answer for almost all pilots. While a rechargeable battery is great for a smartphone you use every day, it is less suitable for a backup radio that may languish in a flight bag for weeks at a time. In an emergency, you have to know your radio will turn on, and forgetting to charge your lithium battery is a common mistake. The standard SP-400 battery pack holds 8 AA batteries (two more than most other radios). That sounds minor, but it leads to a big improvement in battery life. We often get over 40 hours of use from an SP-400 battery pack, when most of the time is spent receiving and not transmitting. 

Of course we offer a rechargeable battery pack for the SP-400 if you so desire. This is a good option for pilots who fly more frequently or for FBO use. Whichever option you choose, we believe you'll get great performance and long battery life from Sporty's radio.

 

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
4.2 / 5.0
171 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
78
59
20
12
2
Durability
4.0 / 5
Reliability
4.2 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Ease Of Use
4.3 / 5
Value
4.0 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes (10)
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Excellent product working worldwide and a good value
November 13, 2017
Purchased
2 weeks ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
A must have
Love this item which is now replacing my JD 200 which I had for 10+ years. Would never go flying without it in my bag. A must-have.
November 6, 2017
Purchased
1 year ago
Durability
3 / 5
Reliability
2 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
3 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Great user interface but questionable quality.
The good: I love the features and usability of this radio. It's super simple to tune to a frequency or access a frequency stored in memory. That's important because this is my backup radio, and if I'm pulling it out during flight I've probably got a lot of things to pay attention to in addition to getting my backup radio configured properly. Additionally, the knobs and buttons all work well and smoothly.

The bad: I'm not impressed with the materials used in the construction of this radio. It's case is made from plastic that feels cheap and brittle, like what I'd expect in a $20 walkie-talkie. I use the AA battery pack, and have had problems with getting electrical contact between the batteries and the radio. The first time I tested the radio in flight it wouldn't turn on until I 'bumped' it a few times. I've since remedied the problem by running tin-foil 'wires' between the AA batteries and the contact pads on the battery pack. Now it works reliably, and I feel confident using it as my backup radio.

Not reviewed: I haven't tested it's transmitting performance yet, and I haven't assessed the quality of the internal components.

Bottom line: I'm pleased with the usability and general function of this radio, and would recommend it. Although I'm somewhat disappointed in the materials and quality/reliability, I've found a way to make it work to my satisfaction.
October 30, 2017
Purchased
4 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Worked great!
Didn't need to read the instructions. Very easy to use. Used at a local airshow for the entire day with no problems. Heave use of Tx and constant Rx monitoring.
September 13, 2017
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Tremendous back up capability!
Ease of use. Would recommend highly to any aviator looking for an inexpensive backup to their current Nav suite.
September 11, 2017
Purchased
2 months ago
Durability
5 / 5
Reliability
5 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
5 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Saves money and adds safety!
Sitting in the plane writing ATIS is running up Hobbs time. I now listen to ATIS while doing final weather briefing. One quick listen in the plane confirms latest briefing. Also listening to Ground provides advance idea of taxi routes at busy airports.

In addition to having a backup radio, it cuts Hobbs time each flight. My first 5 memory channels are my base ATIS, Gound, Tower, Approach, Unicom. Those stay constant. In planning, I add same list to destination.
August 28, 2017
Purchased
3 months ago
Durability
4 / 5
Reliability
4 / 5
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
3 / 5
Value
4 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
backup radio
I had to purchase the headset aux cord as it is not useable without it as the cockpit noise was too great to understand the transmissions.
August 24, 2017
Purchased
3 months ago
Durability
1 / 5
Reliability
1 / 5
Performance
5 / 5
Ease Of Use
5 / 5
Value
2 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Handy radio but crazy fragile
Lots of handy functions but in a very breakable package! Other reviews spoke of the weak battery holder. Saying it could possible break....well mine fell off seat and hit seat rail in C182, busted into pieces all over floor with batteries going everywhere! Broke my heart! Was a Father's Day gift my wife and sons gave me. Why build a super cool radio and put it in such a thin breakable plastic?? My fire radio is over 10 yrs old. Been through hell but never let me down. I expected better quality from Sporty's!!! Spend $26 on another cheap battery case or just keep the zip tie and Electrian tape on it????????
August 3, 2017
Performance
4 / 5
Ease Of Use
4 / 5
Would You Recommend?
Yes
Good and simple to use.
Fairly basic but it is Good radio and simple to use. Good stuff!!
July 15, 2017
Purchased
5 months ago
Useless without charger
Product came without anyway to charge the radio battery as well as a dead battery. Needless to say I can't even test the unit until I receive my next order of accessories. Any radio should come with at least one accessory to charge the battery. This the first product I purchased from Sporty's that I was unimpressed with. I certainly hope this trend does not continue.
July 14, 2017
Purchased
4 months ago
Question and Answer
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 25 questions Browse 25 questions and 42 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.
Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400
A shopper on Sep 1, 2016
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.
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 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.
What does it come with?
David S on Apr 30, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It comes with transceiver unit, strap, and antenna. There is separate order if you like all connectors or rechargeable Li ion battery pack.
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
Will this radio power a ANR headset like a Bose A20?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The Bose A20 get power for ANR from its own batteries, not from the radio, so there would be no issue. You will however need an adapter to go from the ports on the radio to a standard aviation headset. Sporty's carries that part as well.
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"
The printed catalog lists a '6-pin LEMO adapter.' Would I need to buy a LEMO adapter IN ADDITION to the regular 'radio-to-headset adapter', or can I substitute one for the other? IOW, can the LEMO adapter plug directly into the SP-400?
Bruce W on Nov 16, 2017
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation Radio
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
Headset Adapter (for all Sporty's Radios)
BEST ANSWER: The LEMO adapter will not plug directly into the SP-400. You would need to go from the LEMO to GA adapter then the GA to SP-400 adapter.
Is there a compatible earpiece/lapel mic that will work with this radio?
Dan T on Oct 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes, you can atttach your headset to it with the adapter.
What is the size of the screen?
David B on Oct 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The screen measures 1 11/16th inches x 1 11/16th inches.
Does it have a scan feature to listen to multiple frequencies?
Ed A on Aug 28, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes it has a memory scan feature.
Does my headset plug in?
A shopper on May 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER: If you would like to use this with your headset you will need the adapter, item 8635A.
Hey can it pick up like csx?
A shopper on Apr 5, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This radio will only receive aviation communications and navigation frequencies.
How many watts output ?
A shopper on Mar 27, 2017
BEST ANSWER: 5 watts.
Does this unit have the DME built into it?
john s on Mar 9, 2017
BEST ANSWER: It does not have a DME built in to the unit.
I am a aspiring flight student who also owns a boat. Would the s a good marine radio as well?
dangerami on Mar 8, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This would not. It does not transmit or receive on marine frequencies.
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.
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
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