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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 #8

    The rarest aircraft in the world? The incredible opportunity to attend this invite-only event in North Korea, with promise of Air Force and Air Koryo participation. 

    LOCATION: North Korea
    SUBJECT: The incredible chance to attend the Wonsan Air Festival, the first of its kind in the world’s most reclusive country. See the website at www.wonsanairfestival.com for an event that advertises the ultimate rarities of civil and military participation, as well as numerous festivities including the country’s first ever beer festival. Air Festival open to just over 600 people.
    DATE: 21-27 September 2016
    PRICE: From £1775 (land only), £2498 for China & flights.
    CAPACITY: 10x photographers
    Option 1: FULLY INCLUSIVE 21-27 September
    Confirmed, direct, scheduled flights from London to Beijing, transfer from airport to hotel, excursion to Datanshan Chinese AF Museum with private transport and English-speaking guide, return to hotel, fully inclusive of all meals, overnight accommodation, transfer to Beijing, flights to North Korea, North Korean visa, fully inclusive meals and accommodation for the duration, show entry and all events, return to Beijing, transfer from airport to hotel, overnight accommodation again on a fully inclusive basis, transfer to Beijing airport, and scheduled return flight to London,
    all logistics, booking and admin. From £2498.

    Option 2: LAND ONLY, 22-26 September

    Join the  group at the designated point at the right time to travel from Beijing Airport on the chartered flight to North Korea. North Korea hotels, show entry and events, followed by return charter flight to Beijing.  From £1775.

    Wonsan Air Festival: Exotic Wings overview
    COAP's Exotic Wings excursions are not traditional Assignments. They involve travel to all corners of the globe, off the beaten track. 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. Ideal for photographers that want something different and love the thrill of the chase.

    This visit will see COAP join IAAT to travel to the first ever event of its kind, with expected North Korean AF participation (with MiG-21, MiG-29 and Su-25 in flying and static) as well as 'home team' Russian-built, civilian rarities. It will be 21-27 September, and you won't need to lift a finger (other than your shutter release!).

    This is not your normal form of travel - there are serious considerations to take into account, and travelling on your own is just not possible. Whilst there are other groups travelling, there is just over 600 spaces available (westerners only). COAP will be offering a small group within a group travelling with partner IAAT, an expert in travel logistics, for complete peace of mind.

    The whole week can be a workshop if you require on a continual learning basis by shadowing and enjoying relaxed, informal and impromptu discussions. You are travelling with two of the most prolific aviation photographers in the world and you are (as always) encouraged to capitalise on that


    Between 07:30 and 08:20 please check-in with Finnair in Terminal 3 at London’s Heathrow Airport. Then meet Rich Cooper & Steve Comber of COAP and your fellow photographers who will be gathering nearby the check-in area. Latest check-in time is 2-hours prior to departure, i.e. 08:20.

    Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3, Flight: AY832, Departs: 10:20
Arr Helsinki 15:15

    On arrival, time to stretch our legs before our flight to Beijing; boarding should commence at 16:20.

    Helsinki, Flight AY051, departs 18:20

    Beijing, Arrives: 06:55

    On arrival we proceed through Immigration, Baggage Reclaim and Customs.

    In the Arrivals Hall we meet our local English-speaking guide, board our specially chartered coach and drive 25 miles north of Beijing, to one of the most spectacular collections of aircraft in the world: the China Aviation Museum, located around and through a mountain! Website: www.china.org.cn/english/kuaixun/72761.htm

    There are more than 200 aircraft on display, with an emphasis on the Korean War and the Cold War. The museum includes many unique machines, including a 1903 Wright Flyer replica, and several British types. Packed lunch provided.

    Today we transfer to Beijing Capital International Airport and board the Air Koryo charter flight to Wonsan. Check-in time and aircraft type to be advised. There will be several flights throughout the day, depending on final numbers going to the airshow.

    On arrival we go through Immigration, baggage reclaim and customs before boarding our waiting coach and transferring to one of four hotels: the Tongmyong Hotel, Songdowon Hotel, Kalma Hotel or Masikryong Hotel. We currently await the name of the hotel at which our group will be accommodated. Depending on the time, there may be an opportunity for a sightseeing tour of the city.

    DAYS 4 – 5: SATURDAY, 24th – SUNDAY, 25th SEPTEMBER
    Two fascinating days at the Wonsan Air Festival 2016. Each morning we transfer by coach the short distance to the airport and return late afternoon. Timings to be advised nearer the time.

    It needs to be said that this is the first ever event of its kind so it is very hard to know what to expect. Whilst no guarantees are made, fast-jet participation is (currently) confirmed by the organisers as MiG-21s, MiG-29s and Su-25s (flying and static), on top of a mouth-watering array of Russian-built civil airliners performing pleasure flights and low fly-bys (as well as static). There is even the first DPRK Beer Festival!! It will certainly be a case of quality over quantity - can you afford to miss it?!

    More information on the programme of events can be found on the “Important Travel Information” link.

    Today we return to the airport and board the Air Koryo charter flight back to Pyongyang; we then board the connecting Air Koryo charter flight to Beijing. The exact departure times and aircraft types are not known at present as there will be several flights during the day.

    In Beijing, after Immigration, baggage reclaim and customs we meet our local guide and transfer to the Capital Airport Hotel for a stay of 1 night on a full board basis. Our breakfast in Wonsan, a meal on the flight (tbc) and the evening meal at the Beijing hotel are all included in the tour price.

    At 08:00hrs we transfer the few miles to Beijing’s Capital Airport and check-in with Finnair for our daytime flight back to London, via Helsinki. Latest check-in time is 08:55hrs.

    Beijing Capital Airport, Flight: AY052 Departs: 10:55hrs
    Arrives Helsinki Airport 14:15hrs

    On arrival we have time to stretch our legs before our connecting flight to London; boarding should commence at 16:20.

    Helsinki, Flight: AY995 departs: 17:00hrs
    Arrives London Heathrow, Terminal 3 Airport, 18:05hrs

    And that’s it, the thrill and experience of this COAP Exotic Wings adventure is over, only to be relived through the amazing images we hope to have captured.


    • Flights on the scheduled services of Finnair from London’s Heathrow Airport
    • Charter flights with Air Koryo: Beijing-Wonsan-Beijing
    • UK, Chinese and North Korean airport taxes and UK Air Passenger Duty, (cost subject to change)
    • Transfers in Beijing, by air-conditioned coach
    • Transfers and transportation in North Korea
    • 2-nights hotel accommodation at a Beijing airport hotel in rooms with private facilities
    • 3-nights hotel accommodation in North Korea, in rooms with private facilities
    • All meals in Beijing, as stated
    • All meals in North Korea, as stated
    • North Korean Tourist Visa Card (UK/EU citizens only)
    • Admission to all the visits in North Korea
    • Services of local English-speaking guide in Beijing
    • Services of local English-speaking guides in North Korea
    • Gratuity for our North Korean guides


    • China: Multiple Entry Tourist Visa: UK/EU citizens only
    • Any optional sightseeing flights at the airshow
    • Travel insurance – see General Information
    • Personal expenditure, e.g. souvenirs, gifts, drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc
    • Gratuity for all coach drivers

    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!