Elaine and Peter Dusting travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to Canada’s capital.

They crossed the world’s biggest ocean in a sleek, quiet, modern aircraft.

And as soon as they got to Ottawa, they squeezed into a 75-year-old, open cockpit biplane and roared back into the air.

“I was determined that we would do this. It’s fantastic,” exclaims Elaine Dusting. “You’re like a bird. You can just see everything.”

That’s the appeal of Ottawa Biplane Adventures – a chance to take a tour of the city like no other, in a plane that was built back when William Lyon McKenzie King was Prime Minister, and Duke Ellington was telling us to “Take The A Train.”

“It’s a 1941 WACO biplane. It was built in the United States during the Second World War and used as a trainer for the American military,” explains Greg Reynolds. The pilot has two of the planes (the second is even older!) and uses them to fly short tours over Ottawa. He sits in the back. Two passengers sit in a second cockpit up front.

He flies the plane at an altitude of around 1500 feet at a leisurely - some might say gravity-defying - 80 miles per hour. "Because it's open it's like sitting in a convertible car but you're up in the air. You're on a motorcycle but you're up in the air. So the freedom, the air blowing through, the sunshine, it's gorgeous," says Reynolds.

“I enjoyed it immensely,” says Graham Berry, part of a small group of Australians seeing Ottawa by air. “I’ve flown before in light aircraft but not in the open like that. It’s exhilarating.”

Even Andre Beck, who admits to a fear of heights and claustrophobia, enjoyed his flight. “I just could not stop smiling. Don't know if it was tension, but it just went out the window. Well, what window we had there,” he laughs.

Ottawa Biplane Adventures runs through the summer months out of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Flights start at $65 per person. The average flight is around 10 to 15 minutes.

A short flight, but memorable, says Elaine’s husband, Peter Dusting. “You feel like you might have been in the days of the Red Baron,” he laughs.