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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 #36

    A week of Swiss AF action in the wonderful light and breath-taking surroundings that the nation is famous for. This will likely be one of the last chances to shoot the F-5E/F Tiger IIs as well. This will be ground-based photography (ie not climbing the mountains) to allow those that do not want to make the mountain climb(s) to the shooting range. 

    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!).

    Monday 8th-Friday 12th October
    Land Only from £933, flights from London available (See booking itinerary).
    Available for booking from Friday 14th September at 15:00.



    Always wanted to see the action of AXALP but can’t face the climb of the Swiss mountains? Then this one is for you!
    The Swiss AF’s AXALP exercise is famed for its mountain shooting ranges, this is a purely ground-based visit for those that want to shoot the taxi, take-off and landing action and not undertake the physically-demanding mountain climb.
    You will be photographing the busy ops of the Swiss AF F/A-18C/D Hornets and F-5E/F Tiger IIs at Payerne during the AXALP exercise - and it is highly likely that this will be the last of of its kind for the legendary F-5s, with a large flypast expected to launch each day.
    Under the expert guidance of our Photo Manager Keith Meachem (one of the most travelled in the business!), you can expect to shoot in some great vantage points around the base of Payerne for the majority of the EW, with the land-locked valley-situated Meiringen added to the itinerary around weather and ops windows to take in the helos and any other assets.
    There is no place like Switzerland! 


    Between 09:30 and 10:10 please check-in with British Airways in Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport. Then meet Keith Meachem, COAP Photo Manager, and your fellow photographers who will be gathering adjacent to Column G which is located in the Departures Hall immediately before the check-in area. We recommend you check in no later than 2 hours prior to departure: 10:10.

    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5: Flight: BA 714 Departs: 12:10
    Zurich: Arrives: 15:00
    If travelling Land Only, we rendezvous at Zurich at 16:00.

    We then transfer to Payerne and stay 4 nights at the Hotel la Suite on a bed and breakfast basis. There is free wi-fi in all areas and an on-site restaurant. The rooms come with flat-screen cable TV, a work desk, and a bathroom. Please note that there are no twin-bedded rooms available during our stay so everyone will have their own single room Website: https://la-suite.ch/

    DAY 2 - 4: TUESDAY, 9th - THURSDAY, 11th OCTOBER
    The next four days are all about the action. AXALP has a daily flying programme (announced nearer the time), with flight demonstrations and a gunnery competition with F/A-18 Hornets and F-5 Tiger IIs (the latter for probably the last time).
    Each of the aircraft and helos participating in AXALP launch on a rotational basis throughout the programme. For this year, the action is to be concentrated at Payerne, so you will be in the vantage points at the base to see the flight operations. These will include taxiway, runway for take-offs and the approach for landing shots. One of the highlights is expected to be a daily flypast of 12x F-5s, with the launch and recovery at Payerne (subject to the usual caveats).
    On top of Payerne, there will be an excursion to Meiringen - this beautiful base, in the base of a tight valley, will have the AXALP helos operating from it, and possibly more fast jets (unknown at this time). The decision over when to do this will be taken once in-country and with the weather and ops patterns known.

    The last day of operations, with a chance to catch up on anything that was missed and find that new angle, before heading to Zurich in the mid-afternoon. We then drop off the Land Only travellers at Zurich on arrival as the rest of the group check in with British Airways for the return flight to London; latest recommended check-in time is 18:45.

    Zurich: Flight: BA 719, Departs 20:45
    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5: Arrives 21:30

    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!