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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 #35

    A very special itinerary to take in the pure aviation that is the Alaskan aviation scene, with operational access to the working propliner fleets including air-to-air (subject to operational, serviceability and weather caveats), alongside one of the world's experts in the field.

    Images by kind permission of Dietmar Schreiber.

    Your travel with COAP will ensure you are part of a small, flexible and photography-focussed group, offering the highest degree of flexibility to ensure a maximum return from as many vantage points as possible (and not forgetting a great social scene!).


    LOCATION: Alaska – Anchorage & Fairbanks area
    SUBJECT: The incredible Alaskan aviation scene, concentrating on photography of propliner ops, Anchorage International and floatplane bases.
    DATE: 25th September to 3rd October
    COST: From £1479 land only.    
    CAPACITY: 5x photographers
    • Nine days, with seven nights hotel accommodation in rooms with en-suite facilities (room only as breakfast may often be taken on the go!).
    • All logistics, transport, transfers and admin except excursions from Anchorage and air-to-air flights.
    • Services of COAP Photo Manager and in-country expert


    • Air-to-air photo flights.
    • Excursion to Fairbanks propliner base.

    This promises to be a special itinerary, taking in the ‘pure aviation’ that is the Alaskan aviation scene, with operational access to the working propliner fleets, including air-to-air photography flights.
    These will be delivered by COAP, alongside one of the world's experts in this field, Dietmar Schreiber.
    We are working on airside access to Anchorage International (for a superb elevated vantage point), as well as the lively, vibrant and picturesque floatplane scene, right on our doorstep. Another concentration will be the propliner operating base of Fairbanks, as well as other local excursions.
    We intend to use Anchorage as a hub, and head out to the pre-arranged photo ops around the weather and operational availability of these hard-working types.
    Photographic heaven!


    Between 09:30 and 10:10 please check-in with Icelandair in the North Terminal at London’s Gatwick Airport. Then meet Rich Cooper of COAP and your fellow photographers, who will be gathering adjacent to the check-in area. At this busy time of the day, we recommend you check-in no later than 10:10.

    Gatwick, North Terminal Flight: FI 471, Departs 13:10
    Reykjavik, Arrives 15:10

    We then transfer for the onward flight to Seattle.
    Reykjavik, Flight FI 681, Departs 17:00
    Arrives Seattle, 17:45

    After passing through US Immigration, Baggage Reclaim and Customs we hand our luggage in at the Icelandair/Alaskan Airlines transfer desk and proceed to the departure gate of our onward codeshare flight to Anchorage.

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    Seattle, Flight FI7601, Departs 19:20
    Arrives Anchorage, 22:05

    On arrival we transfer to the Coast International Inn Hotel ideally located yards from the airport perimeter and Lake Hood. We stay 7 nights on a room only basis (as breakfast may be taken ‘on the go’ on some days). On-site facilities include Pipers Restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals, and Pipers Sports Lounge. 
    Just across the street is Trans Northern who operate two super rare Super Dakotas alongside co-located DC-3 operators.
    About a one-mile walk down Spenard Road, along the edge of Lake Hood, is the famous “Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant” and bar: very popular and open for breakfast, lunch and evening dinner serving Alaskan-sized meals!

    Six days of photographic action!
    We will be using the Anchorage hotel as a base, and head out to the pre-arranged shoot locations/operations based around the weather and the operational availability of the hard-working machines.



    The photographic opportunities that are available are as follows (noting that, whilst each of these are pre-arranged, nothing is guaranteed and options/locations will be worked out and joined once in-country around the weather and availability).


    Anchorage International: Airport viewing area (one of the best vantage points in the world!)
    Anchorage International: Airside access to an elevated vantage point not possible from outside.
    Lakefront floatplane ops: Stunning, picturesque and pure aviation, with floatplanes going about their daily business.
    Air-to-air: C-46 Commando*
    Air-to-air: DC-3 Dakota*
    Air-to-air: Floatplane Beaver*
    Glacier flight*
    Fairbanks: Propliner operating base (domestic flight required, booked on-site)*
    Air-to-air: Douglas DC-6* This is not always possible due to operational schedules.
    Firebombers: If firebombers are present in the region (Convairs etc of Conair’s seasonal operation) we will look at this option as well.
    Those with a * are all ‘bolt ons’ and paid for on the day. Prices range from $200 to $600 a head. Cost for the flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks usually around $250, all payable direct on the day.
    Today we check in with Alaskan Airlines for the start of our journey from Anchorage International, getting to the airport of 06:00 to check in.

    Anchorage, Flight FI7600, Departs 08:05
    Arrives Seattle 12:30

    We then head for the transfer gate, ready for the flight to Iceland.
    Seattle, Flight FI 680, Departs 16:00

    Arrives Keflavik 06:15+1

    A final transfer, ready for the flight to London…

    Keflavik, Flight FI 470, Departs 07:35
    Arrives London Gatwick, 11:45


    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!