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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 #41


    The Land of The Rising Sun holds some of the most exotic machines and squadrons in the world. This photography trip to Japan will take in three major JASDF bases on three different islands (first time ever!, with Eagles in both freezing & tropical climes, before concentrating on the operations of the F-4s at Hyakuri from the superb vantage points at the base. Expect all sorts of lighting conditions in this land of awesome action!

    The plan begins with one of four domestic flights, the first heading to the north of the country to Chitose, home to two F-15J Eagle squadrons, which operate in some of the harshest weather conditions. We then swap climates to fly south to shoot the action on the almost tropical island of Okinawa, with more F-15J action and a heavy US military presence.

    We then fly north again to return to the mainland to spend the rest of the EW at Hyakuri, in a structured, purely photographic visit to the best shooting locations outside this Phantom super base with the aim of catching as much F-4 operations as possible.

    The F-4s are in their last days and we look forward to shooting them in as many different lighting conditions as possible.

    This will be our 20th time shooting in Japan, we know it well. It is time to travel to the Land of The Rising Sun again and let the adventure begin.

    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!).

    Taiwan F-5 Tiger IIs! (16-21st Feb)
    We are offering an extension to take in the action of another Far East endangered species - the F-5 Tiger IIs of the ROCAF.
    This will be available as an optional extension to the above, or as a self-contained EW operation under a separate booking. Please e-mail us for more details.


    Login and click on the BOOK MY PLACE button below to download to the full itinerary and booking forms on the IAAT booking site.




    Available with flights from London as below or as Land Only (meeting in Tokyo Narita).

    Between 07:30 and 08:00 please check-in with KLM in Terminal 4 at London’s Heathrow Airport.Then meet Rich Cooper of COAP, and fellow photographers, who will be standing in the immediate area. Latest recommended check-in time is 2 hours prior to departure, i.e. 08:00.

    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4, Flight KL 1008, Departs: 10:00
    Amsterdam, Arrives: 12:25

On arrival we make our way to the departure gate of our onward flight to Tokyo Narita Airport: boarding should commence at approximately 13:55.

    Amsterdam, Flight KL 861, Departs: 14:35

    Tokyo Narita Airport, Terminal 1 International, Arrives: 09:45

    After Immigration Control, Baggage Reclaim & Customs we enter the Arrivals Hall. We then transfer to Terminal 3 (Domestic), and meet up with those making their own way to Narita Airport. Time to check in with Jetstar Japan for our flight to Sapporo; boarding should commence around 12:15. 
Please note that Japanese domestic flights are very tight on luggage allowance. We have upgraded to 1x checked bag of 20kg and 1x cabin baggage of 10kg.

    Narita, Flight GK 113, Departs: 12:55
    Sapporo, Arrives: 14:40

    We then transfer to the Dormy Inn Tomakomai Hotel where we stay 3 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

    Chitose: Shooting the action at Chitose, home of the JASDF F-15J Eagles from the regular vantage points outside the base, in what could be beautiful light and snow conditions.

    Chitose: A second day at Chitose, taking in the Eagle action. The base is also home of the JASDF VIP transport fleet.

    Returning to Sapporo Airport we check in with Jetstar Japan for our flight to Naha, via Tokyo; latest recommended check in time is 2 hours before departure: 08:20.

    Sapporo, Flight GK102, Departs: 10:20
    Narita, Arrives: 12:05

    On arrival we stay air-side and go along to the departure gate of our onward flight to Naha on the island of Okinawa; boarding should start around 14:10.

    Narita, Flight: GK 307, Departs: 15:00
    Naha, Arrives: 18:30

    We then transfer to the APA Hotel Naha, staying 3 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

    Naha, Kadena, Futenma:
    For the next three days you can expect to take in the action (and a change in temperature) on the island of Okinawa, with a great variety of highly colourful Japanese domestic airline traffic at the airport itself, some historically significant sites (Hacksaw Ridge and Naval Underground HQ), as well as a feast of military assets. There’s a heavy presence of US military to be seen at Kadena and Futenma, and all Japanese military services operate from Naha. This includes two squadrons of F-15Js, an E-2C Hawkeye squadron, CH-47J units from the Army and Air Defence Forces, and UH-60J units, plus the Japanese Coastguard and a wing of P-3 Orions.

    Naha, Kadena, Futenma: A second day on Okinawa, concentrating on the military photography around the island.

    Naha, Kadena, Futenma: A third day of ops, concentrating on the military photography on Okinawa. This evening we return to the airport and check in with Jetstar Japan for our flight back to Tokyo; latest recommended check in time is 2 hours prior to departure: 17:15.


    Naha, Flight: GK 308, Departs: 19:15
    Narita, Arrives: 21:40

    We then transfer to the President Hotel Mito, staying 3 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

    DAYS 9, 10 & 11: WEDNESDAY 13th, THURSDAY 14th & FRIDAY 15th FEBRUARY
    THE place to be for JASDF Phantom action. This base has excellent photography locations and we will be shooting all of the F-4 variants that are in action, in all light conditions, from all vantage points. We will spend the whole time at Hyakuri, ensuring we get as much F-4 action as possible! There is one squadron of F-4EJs with reasonable numbers; the second F-4EJs unit may still just have a couple of jets ahead of its March disbandment, whilst the recce RF-4 squadron will finish a year from now. A “Phantom Phest!” whilst you still can!
    Late afternoon we return to Tokyo and stay overnight at the Hotel Welco Narita on a bed and breakfast basis.

    This morning we check in with Air France for our flights back to London via Paris; latest recommended check in time is 2 hours prior to departure: 08:55.

    Tokyo Narita Airport, Flight: AF 275, Departs: 10:55
    Paris, Arrives: 15:40

    On arrival we go to the departure gate of our onward flight to Heathrow which should start boarding a 17:25.

    Paris, Flight: AF 1080, Departs: 18:05
    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2, Arrives: 18:20

    EW41 COSTS

    TOTAL EW COST: Land Only from £2610 per person (INCLUDING £555 for the four domestic flights).
    What's included?: 12x days total travel, with four hotels with in twin-share rooms with private facilities, on a bed and breakfast basis, transfers, transport costs/tolls, admin and logistics, and 4x Japanese domestic flights (at current cost, including taxes, hand baggage, hold luggage and increased weight allowance to 10kg)

    FULL LONGHAUL PROGRAMME: £3110 (includes ALL of the above, as well as scheduled return flights from London included as outlined in this itinerary)

    For even more detail, please download the PDF version of this itinerary below.

     Login and click on the BOOK MY PLACE button below to download to the full itinerary and booking forms on the IAAT booking site.


    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!