‘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 #3

    A full day at RAF Valley, spending the morning on the Hawk T1 and T2 flightlines of No 208 and IV Squadrons, plus the last yellow SAR Sea Kings of No 22 Squadron, followed by an afternoon on the runway caravan. In the evening we will be hosted by an active-duty RAF Hawk pilot and aerial photographer for a special Workshop. The following day presents an option to spend time in the well-known low-flying locations if you wish to try your luck in the Low Flying Areas of Wales!

    LOCATION: RAF Valley, Anglesey
    SUBJECT: A full day photographing the operations of Nos 208, IV and 22 Squadrons at RAF Valley, with Hawk pilot and aerial photographer evening Workshop and the optional chance to shoot in the low-level flying areas of Wales.
    DATE: 6th-8th July 2015
    PRICE: £265pp (plus station charity donation)
    CAPACITY: Maximum of 20x photographers
    INCLUDES: Two nights hotel accommodation on a B&B basis (twin room, share); Breakfast x2; Transport hire with coach transfers on 7th July to/from RAF Valley; Hire of transport and driver for transportation around base all day and night; All logistics, Admin & Booking fees.

    RAF Valley has a vital role to play in the development of fighter pilots for the frontline. This visit will immerse you in the daily flight operations of the station, which is set in one of the most picturesque areas in the country. Indeed, its location is not far from the famous Mach Loop and either side of the visit has the potential to allow you to visit the LFA area if you wish.

    This visit is open to a maximum of 20 COAP photographers. We will have a hotel on Anglesey on the night before the visit, then be picked up early the next morning by our own coach to undertake a full day’s shooting. The morning will be spent on the ramp with Nos 208 and IV Squadron, with the afternoon on the runway caravan. The evening will contain an extra special Workshop and hangar tours from a Hawk pilot and ace aerial photographer.

    Also on hand are the famous bright yellow SAR Sea Kings of No22 Squadron, with their days numbered and this will really add to this rare visit. With all of this, plus the chance to spend some time in “The Loop” for any potential low-flying action either side of the Assignment, this is a fantastic opportunity for frontline photography.

    The visit will be raising money for the resident RAF Hawk T2 Role Demo Display, which is donating all proceeds to a local children’s hospice.

    Operational timetable to be confirmed

    Day 1: Monday 6th July
    20.00hrs:  Arrive at the Hotel Cymyran on Anglesey for check-in. Evening in the bar, talking all things photographic of course!
    NOTE: Why not take the opportunity to try your luck in the Mach Loop for some low-level action before you arrive?

    Day 2: Tuesday 7th July
    07.00hrs:  Breakfast & board chartered transport
    08.30-18.30hrs: Arrive at RAF Valley for a full day of photographic coverage of the resident hawk and Sea King squadrons. Morning on the flightlines, afternoon on the runway caravan.
    19.00-22.30hrs:  Workshop on RAF fast jet pilot training and air-to-air photography from a Hawk pilot and aerial photographer.
    22.30hrs: Board chartered transport and return to Angelsey hotel.

    Day 3: Wednesday 8th July
    07.00hrs:  Breakfast.
    07.30hrs: Depart hotel to (optionally) make your own way to the low-flying areas if you want to try your hand at low-level photography. You never know what could happen! Full instructions given if required.

    This assignment is limited to x20 photographers. In order to book your place, please hit the "book now" button below and then complete the booking form and hit submit. You will receive an acknowledgement of your request and will be contacted within 48-hours in order to collect payment.

    Preferential booking will be given to those photographers who previously indicated their interest as long as we receive your completed booking request by 17:00 hrs. on Friday, 19th June.

    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!