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Exotic Wings & Exotic Wings Extreme

Bringing you the best opportunities in aviation photography…

Travel to the action, immerse yourself photography, shoot rarities, visit ‘bucket list’ destinations, experience the thrill of the chase, learn from specialists all over the world, enjoy a fantastic social scene… There really is nothing like it.

COAP has decades of professional experience in delivering aviation photography, whether it’s a professional and enthusiast engagement across military air arms and commercial operators, visiting airshows or conducting air-to-air photography sorties.

These operations are strictly for photographers and are dedicated to spending quality time in the best vantage points, often executed with local knowledge and experience in place, and sometimes working towards a specific end result for our hosts.

Such visits may include a Workshop tutorial or have a Masterclass built into them, whereby aircrew or specialist aviation photographers will present to the group in a relaxed, interactive format.

The EW Extreme operations include travel off the beaten track, and are more suited to the dedicated photographer that loves the thrill of the chase. They offer a chance to travel with pro aviation shooters, with in-country experience and local contacts, which otherwise may be too daunting or difficult to achieve. Not for the faint-hearted, you never know what you are going to get on the adventure, but if you do come away with results they will surely be of the highest and rarest quality.

Exotic Wings overview…

•  Small groups of dedicated photographers, spending quality time immersed in aviation photography.
•  Shadow the pros and develop your technique.
•  Workshop/Masterclass often built into the assignment.
•  Produce stunning end results.
•  Solid travel itinerary.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Exotic Wings #19

    A fantastic variety and mix of aviation photography, with an itinerary full of special access, exclusive set-ups, field trips, airshows, workshops, symposium, exercises, air-to-air and more! A total aviation photography immersion!


    LOCATION: California, Arizona and Nevada
    SUBJECT: USA West Photo Fest
    DATE: 8-25 March 2018
    PRICE: £1210 Land Only, plus US Extras (see breakdown)
    CAPACITY: 10x photographers
    INCLUDES: All travel, transport, 17 nights hotel accommodation, logistics, admin and taxes. See cost breakdown for operational costs (3G show access, ISAP Symposium, air-to-air etc).


    A fantastic variety and mix of aviation photography, with an array of aviation photography, special access, exclusive set-ups, field trips, airshows, workshops, symposium, exercises, air-to-air & more!

    This will be a total immersion in aviation photography. Such is the amount that we are packing into this EW program that the action is still coming in thick and fast. As such all the plans are included within this document, with PLAN A detailed, and PLAN B alternatives added into the relevant days

    Both Plans start with exclusive access to NAF El Centro Airshow in partnership with 3G Aviation Media. This will see special access and night photography, as well as a flight line photo chalet of our own to enjoy. We then swap states ahead of the Arizona phase of the EW.

    We then attend the prestigious International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) Symposium, held in Tucson, with field trips, industry speakers, workshops and more. Expect some excellent shoots, great social periods and productive learning, whatever your levels. Option to visit Yuma Airshow on the Saturday, before we then also hit Luke AFB airshow.

    We then swap States again to head up to Nellis AFB, Nevada, to shoot the participants of Exercise 'Red Flag'. After Nellis there's the potential of high-level air-to-air shoots in the days after that (Plan B), or we may continue the ground action in the region if they do not materialise. The key will be flexibility, as is always the case in such environments.

    We then wrap up with special access at the LA County Airshow, which usually produces a mouth-watering participation list.

    The aerials are available as optional or stand-alone, and you are advised to book your place on this trip regardless of your preference - spaces are in high demand for this incredible itinerary!


    Pease meet COAP at Los Angeles International Airport Terminal B at 1500hrs. Alternatively, we can also book your flights from the UK, meeting at LHR Terminal 5 at 0700hrs for the flight to the USA. We will be travelling on…

    Flight No BA283, Departing LHR at 1035hrs Arrives LAX Terminal B at 1355hrs

    After meeting in the arrivals hall, we collect our hard-working minivan and transfer east towards El Centro, spending two nights at the Comfort Inn hotel.

    PLAN B: Depending on the timings, we may undertake helicopter photo flights over Los Angeles International.

    DAY 2: FRIDAY 9th MARCH (continued)
    NAF EL CENTRO: We head to at NAF El Centro to meet with the 3G Aviation Media crew to shoot the arriving aircraft, ahead of the afternoon's special set up. After a safety brief, we head straight out to the flightline for the evening's awesome night photography session with the static participants of the show. Expect some stunning sights and fireworks in the background too! This will be a night photography workshop, with lighting provided, as well as instruction and tuition in the art! Overnight Comfort Inn, El Centro.

    NAF EL CENTRO: Departing early, we spend the whole day at the NAF El Centro 2018 Airshow. This is a great event, and we will be position in the best spot for photography thanks to the exclusive photo chalet with 3G. Stop by, eat lunch, take advantage of the front-row shooting opportunities or cool off and rest your feet in the tent with a drink! (Yes, beer too!). Once the airshow flying ends on Saturday, attendees will assemble at the chalet for an exclusive post-airshow photoshoot. This will be an opportunity to capture aircraft on the flightline without the crowds before the sun sets. Overnight, Comfort Inn, El Centro.

    DAY 4: SUNDAY 11th MARCH
    We depart El Centro and travel east in the the desert, taking in some of the awesome travel photography opportunities on the way (some of which you will never have seen anything quite like before in your life!). We then arrive at the Quality Inn & Suites in Goodyear where we stay two nights. Overnight, Quality Inn & Suites, Phoenix.

    DAYS 5 & 6: MONDAY 12th - TUESDAY 13th MARCH
    These days will be spent in the aviation-rich Arizona area, with shooting at Luke AFB, Phoenix Mesa Gateway & visiting preservation workshops, flights over the Boneyard and more. We remain at the Quality Inn & Suites on Monday night, checking out on Tuesday ahead of our stay at the ISAP hotel in Tucson, the DoubleTree Suites By Hilton for five nights, and set up for a fascinating few days ahead.

    Attendance at the world renown International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) Symposium, a gathering of aviation photographers from all over the world to share information, network, inspire socialise, learn from workshops, tuition and famous guest speakers and experience exclusive field trips. Expect some enjoyable social evenings as well as the great daily programme (www.aviationphoto.org).

    Outline itinerary as follows:
    Weds 14th: Field trip during the day (details TBC) and night shoot at Pima Air & Space Museum.
    Thurs 15th: Aviation photography workshops and guest speakers.
    Fri 16th: Field trip to AMARG, with an exclusive bus tour around the facility, plus more to be confirmed.

    A day full of workshops, tuition, speakers and a banquet dinner and awards night. Subjects include printing, social media, mobile options, Adobe Lightroom and Self Publishing. The evening banquet will be addressed by Col Ed Hamill from Luke AFB, plus an award & presentation session, and a competition from Nikon on the night. MCAS YUMA AIRSHOW OPTION: An optional day excursion to the MCAS airshow at Yuma.

    DAY 11: SUNDAY 18th MARCH
    Today is another taste of all-American airshow action, as we visit the 2018 Luke Days airshow. This USAF base is teaming with action and hosts an international mix of F-35 and F-16 training units. Expect another full-on day of shooting! And burgers.

    Once the gates close, we head north towards the lights of Las Vegas, staying two nights at the Comfort Inn & Suites just outside Nellis AFB, Nevada.

    DAY 12-15: MONDAY 19th MARCH - THURSDAY 22nd MARCH
    We spend four days in the vicinity of Exercise 'Red Flag', remaining flexible around ops and further opportunities. PLAN B: Air-to-air with fast jets one day and air-to-air with LA County Show participants on a second day.

    Thursday night we transfer to Lancaster, checking into the Comfort Inn & Suites for three nights.

    DAY 16: FRIDAY 23rd MARCH
    We join the spectacular action at the LA County Airshow, with photo access on the rehearsals day plus photo pits and chalet.

    Early morning access from 0600hrs, with sunrise shoot and uncluttered photography before the crowds arrive! Followed by a day full of action at this superb event, with one of the main themes being the 75th Anniversary of the 'Skunk Works'. A choice of three photo pit locations to shoot from.

    DAY 18: SUNDAY 25th MARCH
    We will remain flexible for the day, either taking in more of the LA County Show, or transferring south to fly over LAX Airport. We arrive at LAX to check in at 1730hrs, ready for the flight home. We will be departing on…

    Flight No BA268, Departing Terminal B at 2135hrs Arrives LHR Terminal 5 at 1605hrs

    COAP itinerary cost: £1210 Land Only COAP itinerary cost: £1659 Including flights from London Heathrow to Los Angeles as stated

    US Costs: £623 (£215 for NAF El Centro chalet, photo access & nightshoot; £37 ISAP Membership; £86 ISAP Field Trip; £235 ISAP Symposium; £50 LA County Show Photo Tour Package).

    Grand total Land Only: £1833
    Grand total with flights from the UK: £2282

    NOTE: We are in the final stages of all aspects of the potential air-to-airs for this visit. Costs are not yet known, but likely to be in the £1800-2500 bracket and not compulsory. Everything will be flexible once we are out there around Plan A or Plan B.

    This EXOTIC WINGS #19 programme is limited to 10 photographers so be quick!! It is now open for bookings…

    • In order to apply for your place, please go to centreofaviationphotography.com/Downloads/COAP-Traveller-Form.pdf
    • Download the PDF booking form (some browsers allow you to send direct, others you will need to download the form and send as an attachment - either way is fine) and send to contact@centreofaviationphotography.com
    • Please also include a PDF or JPG of your passport.
    • Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and you will be contacted to confirm your allocation and to confirm the flights, price and collect full payment.

    Joining & Booking

    1) SIGN UP:
    Click any of the big green buttons to create an account to sign up for free.
    2) WATCH YOUR INBOX: Once this is ready to book we will contact you directly.
    3) BOOK: Login to the site and this page will become live for bookings. All you need to do is click the red button and fill in the booking form (and remember to pack your camera!)

    Questions about the Operations of the Event? E-mail Rich on rich@centreofaviationphotography.com 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!