‘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 #2

    Up close and operational with the meanest-looking battlefield attack asset in the world! This assignment will see a small group journey out to the beautiful terrain along the border of Southern Poland and Northern Slovakia to join a detachment of Polish Army Aviation Mi-24V ‘Hind-Es’ on deployment for the 1s Army Aviation Brigade’s mountain-flight training exercise. Plus a Workshop with specialist shooter Bartek Bera. An experience not to be missed!

    LOCATION: Forward Operating Location near Krakow, Poland.
    SUBJECT: Polish Army Aviation Mi-24V ‘Hind-Es’ on deployment for the 1s Army Aviation Brigade’s mountain-flight training exercise.
    DATE: Wednesday 1st July – Saturday 4th July
    PRICE: From £775pp (final flight cost at booking may change)
    CAPACITY: Maximum of 6x photographers
    INCLUDES: Return flights, 3x overnight accommodation, breakfast, transfers and transport, shooting over three days, evening and night (ops dependent), workshop with specialist photographer Bartek Bera, plus entry to Krakow museum visit before the flight home

    POLISH HINDS: Overview
    The Mi-24 ‘Hind’ is a mean machine, and one that is increasingly rare to photograph in action as numbers dwindle in Europe. The Soviet-built helicopter is a heavily-armed battlefield attack asset and photography of the type is always spectacular. This visit is open to just six COAP photographers. We will fly into Krakow and board our chartered transport for the journey south towards the Polish border into the picturesque region of Zakopane. The 1st Army Aviation Brigade will be deployed with its awesome Mi-24V ‘Hind-Es‘ for a mountain flight-training exercise.

    We will have full access to the unit on deployment, with some spectacle flying expected. They will also be on night-flying missions, and we will be there to cover this as well. What’s more, in order to bring you a rounded photographic experience and fully engage with the subject, we are very grateful to be able to say famous Polish photographer Bartek Bera will be with the group for the duration. Bartek specialises in this field and will be conducting a Masterclass at the end of the Assignment on his work and vast experience.

    This assignment is expected to result in some dramatic and spectacular images of a rare type in an operational environment. It will also challenge your photographic skills... What a fantastic combination!

    PLUS! Images from the exercise are to be submitted by COAP to an aviation magazine for potential publication with full credit and individual payment accordingly if selected by the Editor.

    This is a fully operational deployment & every aspect of this visit is subject to security, operational, technical or weather issues. As such, COAP, IAAT & the Polish military are not responsible for cancellation at any stage or non-flying activity. Safety & Insurance is your own responsibility & risk. Ops times will change once flying programme is known and will be tailored around all mission times.

    Day 1: Wednesday 1st July
    08.45hrs:  Depart London Stansted to Krakow, arriving 12.10hrs. Board chartered transport and head straight to the airfield.
    08.45hrs: Welcome & Overview by Rich Cooper
    ETA 15.00hrs: Afternoon/evening shooting and extended if night flying.

    Day 2: Thursday 2nd July
    08.00hrs:  Breakfast & board chartered transport.
    09.00-18.30hrs: Arrive at airfield for a full day of photographic coverage of the deployment, extended if night flying.

    Day 3: Friday 3rd July
    08.00hrs:  Breakfast & board chartered transport.
    09.00-12.30hrs: Photographic coverage of the deployment, until departure of assets later that day.
    PM: Free time, editing images etc.
    19.30hrs: Bar, with Workshop in conference room from 20.00hrs.

    Day 4: Saturday 4th July
    08.00hrs:  Breakfast & board chartered transport for journey to Polish AF Museum, largest in Poland, at Krakow.
    21.50hrs: Return flight from Krakow to London Stansted, arriving 23.20hrs.

    This visit is limited to 6x photographers 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 2nd June, 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!