‘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 #4

    A specific high-end media event to engage with the recently arrived DADS A-4 Skyhawks and the ‘Richtofen’ Flying Group EF2000 QRA Detachment at Wittmund. This opportunity will include a fantastic mix of quality operational photography and interviews for publication in international magazines and web-based media.

    LOCATION: Wittmund, Lower Saxony, Northern Germany
    SUBJECT: Luftwaffe EF2000s & DADS A-4 Skyhawks
    DATE: 24-27 August 2015
    PRICE: From £1150
    CAPACITY: Maximum of 15x photographers
    INCLUDES: Flights, transfers, hotel (one night fully inclusive, inc all drinks, two nights B&B), hire of commercial transport and driver, Texas BBQ, plus all logistics, booking & admin.

    WITTMUND: Overview
    The Canadian defence contractor DADS has been making waves in the industry with a reputation for a first class operation. One of the things that makes it so successful is the high standard of its aircraft, which includes a fleet of simply stunning A-4 Skyhawks flown in support of the Luftwaffe out of Wittmund. Of course, this base in northern Germany was the home to the mighty F-4F and this will be a very special chance to witness the new operations of EF2000s on QRA alert – an awesome sight of technology and airpower of the modern Luftwaffe. Making this even more special will be a social programme, including a Texas BBQ and Workshop with the last Phantom pilots there to relive the decades of operations.

    The visit will be conducted with all of the primary operational photography points, including runway, taxiway, ramp, EOR/Last Chance and shelter areas. One very important aspect is that this is a specific media visit and, as such, we will be reporting on the event as freelance journalists. As you know, COAP is not just about "a visit to a base"... this is so much more than that and we will be engaged in interviews and briefings accordingly to get the story on the unit and then produce articles in print and electronic form. If you are already affiliated to a publication and/or internet-based news agency then please let COAP know upon booking. If not we will work with you to assign you to an outlet for your work.

    A (voluntary) donation to a special local charity will be made during this visit (more details on on the first night).


    Day 1: Monday 24 August
    Between 08:30hrs. and 09:25hrs. please check-in with British Airways in Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport. Then meet Rich Cooper of COAP and your fellow photographers who will be gathering by Column G, located in the Departures Hall immediately before the self-service check-in podiums (not the line of check-in and fast bag-drop desks). Latest check-in time advised by the airline is 90-minutes prior to departure, i.e. 09:25hrs.

    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 Flight: BA 962. Departs: 10:55hrs Arrives Hamburg: 13:30hrs

    After Passport Control we collect our luggage from Baggage Reclaim and proceed through Customs; in the Arrivals Hall we meet our local driver and board our air-conditioned coach for the 2.5hr journey north to our hotel in Wilhelmshaven. We stay three nights at the City Hotel Valois on a bed and breakfast basis. Each person will occupy a single-bedded room.

    Day 2: Tuesday 25 August
    At 08:30hrs. we depart the hotel for the 45 minutes drive (depending on traffic) to the domestic site of GAF Wittmund – known as the Casino – which is located a couple of miles away from the base itself. The programme for the day is:

    10:00hrs: Briefings and Welcome Address from DADS CEO, Base Commander, Chief Pilot and Head of Marketing.
    11:45hrs: Press conference
    12:30hrs: Lunch
    14:00hrs: Visit the Richtofen Wing Museum
    16:30hrs: Depart the 'Casino' and return to hotel
    17:30hrs: Arrive at the City Hotel Valois
    19:00hrs: Evening meal at hotel (own expense)
    20:00hrs: Photo Workshop in the hotel

    Day 3: Wednesday 26 August
    Departing our hotel at 06:30hrs we return to GAF Wittmund ‘Casino’. From here we are taken by military coach to the operational airfield, and undertake photographic time all day until the close of flying at approximately 17:45hrs.

    This will include full operational access to the ramps, taxiways, EOR and runway for photography purposes (the right side of the light), as well as specific photographic opportunities. We then return to the 'Casino', and at 19:00hrs it is planned to hold a very special Texas BBQ with the aircrews (included). To be confirmed: a one-hour night-shoot commencing at 21:30. At 21:30hrs – or around 22:30hrs if there is a night-shoot - our coach returns to our hotel, arriving approximately 45 minutes later.

    Day 4: Thursday 27 August
    Departing the hotel at 08.00hrs, at 09:00hrs we join our hosts for a farewell breakfast in the 'Casino'. At 10:30hrs we board our coach and return to Hamburg Airport. Latest check-in time for our British Airways flight is 15:20hrs:

    Flight: BA 975 Departs Hamburg: 16:50hrs Arrives Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5: 17:30hrs

    Booking a place on any of our Operations requires you to join COAP first (free) and login into the site thereafter. Once you have done this, you will have access to Register your name for an event (and therefore be contacted directly when more details arise) or to actually Book your place if the event is ready to go. If an event is ready to receive your Booking, you will be redirected to the IAAT Booking page to fill in the required form.

    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!