‘Up close and operational’ shoots with the world’s military.

COAP has decades of professional experience in journalism and photography in the engagement with military air arms across the world. As such, Assignments will be undertaken to frontline units that will see small groups of dedicated photographers embark on specific Assignments to visit the units, experience squadron life, be positioned amongst the action and meet the men and women on an operational base. These visits are strictly for photographers and are dedicated to spending quality time in the best vantage points, all executed with full security and safety procedures in place. Often such visits will result in a publication being available to the host unit after the event for their own purposes, as well as a Workshop to produce the end product. Some Assignments will also have a Masterclass built into them, whereby aircrew or specialist aviation photographers will present to the group in a relaxed, interactive format.

UK-based Assignments will raise money for charitable organisations associated with specific host units.

• Go ‘up close and operational’ with the world’s military
• Small groups of dedicated photographers, spending quality time on the frontline
• Shadow the pros and develop your technique
• Workshop/Masterclass often built into the assignment
• Produce stunning end results
• Raise money for charity

  • Would I recommend COAP to anyone? Without hesitation. It is a fantastic experience for anyone who likes taking aviation photos. The Centre of Aviation Photography is without a doubt the best thing I have done for my photography.

    Robert, Workshop attendee.

  • It was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments to be quite honest.

    Mark, Photo Shoot attendee.

  • What doesn’t change are the principles of great access and the opportunity to test and enhance your photographic skills not to mention the social side of gathering with fellow enthusiasts.

    Ian, Exotic Wings traveller.

  • I came out of the Workshop buzzing! A very enjoyable, relaxed and well planned event. I learned that the photograph is the end product, but getting that end product takes a lot of learning, a lot of effort, and on my part, a different way of thinking.

    David, Workshop attendee.

  • It was brilliant and exhilarating

    Mark, Air-to-Air shooter.

  • In a word: Superb. Nothing but praise from start to finish.

    Rolf, Photo Shoot attendee.

  • This week has been one of the best weeks of my life. It was nothing short of amazing. I'm so passionate about my photography and finally feel I have found a place to learn more with COAP. And to top it all one of the pilots wants one of my images!

    Mark, Exotic Wings traveller.

  • Holding a camera doesn't make a person a photographer, same as holding a driving license doesn't make someone a driver… COAP is a game changer. My thinking totally changed after the Wroskhop

    Adrian, Workshop attendee.

  • I look forward to the next ops – I’ve got the air-to-air bug for sure!

    Ian, Air-to-Air shooter.

  • Thoroughly enjoyable insight into life on a front-line RAF squadron with unparalleled photographic opportunities. Exceptional.

    Leigh, Photo Shoot attendee.

  • We never shot from the same place twice; between the different vantage points, the changing light and weather, and the reversal of flight ops as the wind switched, there was such a variety to the photographic opportunities.

    Steve, Exotic Wings traveller.

  • It was an incredible rush.

    Erik, Air-to-Air shooter.

  • It was just truly incredible and something I will never forget. I didn’t just have such an amazing time and snapped some beautiful aircraft, I met amazing people who I am still in contact with.

    Josef, Photo Shoot attendee.

  • These have been immensely enjoyable, well run, good value bearing in mind the opportunities they deliver and all with a great social atmosphere, comradeship and not forgetting the essential ingredient of a good dose of banter!

    Tim, Exotic Wings traveller.

  • It was extremely informative and taught me a lot about taking aviation pictures even though i have been doing it for thirty years. I can’t wait to try things out.

    Andy, Workshop attendee.

  • The rush of looking out from the open ramp at the aircraft that get really close is amazing. This really is something you have to have experienced as an aviation photographer. The opportunity that COAP and Aviation Photocrew gave was amazing.

    Erik, Air-to-Air Shooter.

  • Exceptional, unrestricted access to life on a front-line squadron that is normally denied to members of the public. An excellent visit and I have to pinch myself to bring home the fact that I really was there and I was that close .

    Ian, Photo Shoot attendee.

  • Long days and an epic week that none of us will ever forget with experiences that will live for us forever. Fantastic COAP trip.

    Carl, Exotic Wings traveller.

  • I can quite categorically say that was the most important and inspirational click on a mouse in my life and completely changed how I approach all my photography and editing.

    Mark, Workshop attendee.

  • This was such an exhilarating experience, something that I’ll never forget. This is something that has been on my bucket list for a long time, but now I’d like to repeat this on a regular basis, it’s so addictive!

    Darren, Air-to-Air shooter.

  • Air Combat EU provided a simply exhilarating experience for my first air-to-air back seat photography flight. Any feelings of apprehension were allayed by the support and ideas given during both the pre-flight briefings and the flights themselves. The pilots were knowledgeable, safe and informative throughout the entire experience and I constantly caught myself smiling even when I was upside down!

    Carl, COAP ACE Graduate.

  • I knew it would be good but had no idea it would be that good! So much variety and so much time face to face with such fantastic machines, as well as some really good company for three days.

    Chris, Air-to-Air shooter.

  • The course will show what is involved in the planning and execution of an air-to-air sortie to produce the type of images that you see in books and magazines.

    Mark, COAP ACE Graduate.

  • The opportunity to fly with Air Combat EU and COAP was a fantastic chance to experience the planning and execution of backseat air-to-air photography. Under the expert guidance of the COAP pros and former fast jet crews the results were better than I could have ever hoped for as a ‘first timer’. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the experience.

    Neil, COAP ACE Graduate.

  • Assignment #1

    The Tornado GR4 remains an absolutely vital asset to the Royal Air Force and is arguably one of the most combat-proven jets of recent times. As RAF modernisation and streamlining gathers pace, this iconic machine is now entering its final years of service and this squadron visit will allow you to be ‘up close and operational’ with the Tornados of No 12(B) Squadron at RAF Marham.

    LOCATION: No 12(B) Squadron, RAF Marham
    SUBJECT: A day photographing the operations of No12(B) Squadron, RAF Marham, with Tornado GR4 aircrew briefing the night before.
    DATE: 18-19 May 2015
    CAPACITY: Maximum of 15x photographers
    INCLUDES: Hotel, evening meanl, pre-shoot aircrew briefing, function room, overnight accommodation, breakfast, transport, logistics.
    PRICE: £195pp (plus RAFBF station charity donation)

    TORNADO FORCE: Overview
    There are just three frontline Tornado GR4 squadrons remaining, all stationed at RAF Marham, and we will be spending a full day with No 12(B) Squadron in its operational environment.

    This visit is open to 15 COAP photographers (and UK passport holders only). Timings are still being defined, but the day will start early and finish late with photographic vantage points planned in advance, such as the No12(B) Squadron HAS site during start-up and taxi, the runway caravan and taxiways during landing and take-off waves for a structured day that will herald some great ‘up close and operational’ images.

    In order to bring you a rounded photographic experience and fully engage with the subject, we are very grateful to be able to say that a Tornado crew will be joining us on the night before to talk about recent frontline operations, flying the Tornado and life on an RAF squadron.

    This is one of those experiences not to be missed… the Tornado has played a massive role in the RAF and it is hoped that you will be able to look back on this visit with some significance for many years to come.

    As is the case with UK-based visits, a voluntary donation will be made to the station charity and in this case it is the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

    Operational timetable to be confirmed

    Day 1: Monday 18th May
    17.30hrs: Arrive at The George Hotel, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7LJ.
    19.00hrs: Evening meal from bar menu.
    20.00hrs: Briefing on the RAF Tornado and No 12(B) ops by RAF aircrew.

    Day 2: Tuesday 19th May
    07.00hrs: Breakfast & board chartered transport.
    08.00hrs: Arrive RAF Marham main gate for security checks.
    08.15hrs: Arrive at No12(B) Squadron.
    08.30hrs - 18.30hrs: Photographic coverage of the squadron’s operations from HAS site, taxiways and runways at pre-determined vantage points (lunch at own expense during non-flying period).
    18.30-20.30hrs: Potential night flying.
    20.30hrs: Board chartered transport for return to the George Hotel

    This visit is limited to 15 photographers (UK passport holders, signed up to COAP) and whilst we continue to gauge the demand for this and future visits, in this instance the following booking process will apply...

    In order to provide everyone with an equal opportunity, NOT BEFORE 10:00hrs on Tuesday 7th April, please e-mail your request for a place on this visit to

    You will receive an auto-acknowledgement of your e-mail. Places will be offered strictly on a first come, first served basis to those e-mails received from 10:00hrs onwards. Applications may only be made for 1x named place. Multiple applications will be rejected.

    Within 48-hours you will be advised by e-mail if you have been successful and provided with a link to the website where you can complete your booking request. Joining instructions will be e-mailed approximately one week prior to the event.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Questions about the Operations of the Event? E-mail Rich on or call direct on +44 (0)7768 816029

    THE SMALL PRINT: All dates are preliminary until confirmed and ready for booking. All events are subject to change (especially the Assignments, as they are conducted with operational squadrons) and are subject to security, operational, technical or weather issues. As such, COAP, Service Providers and the respective militaries are not responsible for cancellation at any stage, bad weather or non-flying activity. Safety and Insurance is your own responsibility and risk. Safety and insurance is your own responsibility and risk. Please note that some Assignments can be very, very physically demanding, in extreme weather, for extended periods of time, with intense , fast-moving activity and any bookings are accepted on that basis. If you have any questions about the physical undertaking, please get in contact.

Hours of photographic operations
available through COAP this year!
Hours of expert training
available through COAP this year!
Hours of expert insider knowledge
available through COAP this year!