As you can see from the equipment they use, Philip Mclean and Austin Tibben, the founders of AP Drone Applications take their work very seriously and aim to provide their clients with the best result possible. Courtesy Photo

WINCHESTER – There is nothing like gaining a bit of altitude if you want to gain a better grasp of the land that surrounds you, and two friends are putting that idea into practice through their new business, AP Drone Applications.

AP Drone Applications is the creation of Philip McLean and Austin Tibben. They have had an interest in drones for some time, but really became interested in the technology around 2022 when they attended a farm show in Woodstock. There was a company demonstrating how a drone could be used in farming, and while they watched, the seed of an idea was literally being planted.

Fast forward to 2024, and after a couple years of thinking and discussing things, they finally made the leap and ordered their main drone, a DJI Agras T40 model. This is a serious piece of equipment, capable of handling a 50 kg spreading payload or a 40 kg spraying payload. The arms fold up so that it can fit into the back of a pickup bed, but when they are unfolded, it is approximately 11 feet by 11 feet.

“We can spray in farmer’s fields pretty much like what a custom applicator would do. Except we’re not doing pesticides,” said Mclean. “We’re just doing fertilizers, plant health, more on the edge of that stuff. And then we can we have a dry spreader for doing seed and fertilizers. There are no chemicals currently.”

This is the first spring for AP Drone Applications, but both Mclean and Tibben have a background in agriculture, and that is how they have come to know each other.

“We’ve known each other for a while, said Tibben. “We were custom spray operators. We drove ground rig sprayers together. That’s where we met. And that’s back in 2022 when we looked at the drone originally. This year, it was just time to get into it.

“We had talked to a couple of guys in Ontario that have also been doing it. The one we’re working with, we’re buying our drone from him, and he’s been fantastic in the entire process, getting the drone, giving us training. We spent some time with him in Western Ontario, to learn more about the operating systems, the spray controllers, best results of the drone. We spent three days in Western Ontario with our drone dealer, Drone Spray Canada and it was fantastic. We got to fly the drones. We got to apply some stuff. We did a job with him so we could get a feel for it.”

The technology embedded in the drone is truly amazing, and there are many things it can do more efficiently than traditional methods and equipment can.

“You can map out an area and then you can build prescription maps that you can upload it into the big spray drone, and it can spray off of that map,” said Mclean.

“So, it’s all real time images coming through and real time data.”

Both Mclean and Tibben have flown drones in the past, so it didn’t take much to get comfortable with the flight systems of the drone. The operating system of the spreading and spraying equipment took a bit longer, but both feel comfortable with it now.

Something that has amazed both McLean and Tibben is the range of additional opportunities that they can consider, just because of what the drone can do.

They offer imaging with a smaller drone that can fly higher and gets real time images of a client’s field, and then put them all into a file. The result is like a satellite image but with more detail.

They have also been asked about doing real estate pictures and farm pictures, and even a bit of promotional video shooting. Pretty much anything they can do with a drone and they’re in. And just to keep one foot on the ground, they are doing dump trailer rentals.

“We’ve been approached by quite a few different industries now and we’re looking into those industries to see if it’s worth expanding,” said Tibben. “But agriculture is our primary. That’s, both of our backgrounds. And that’s where we’d like to stay for now.”

AP Drone Applications is in the process of having their website built, but you can find them on Facebook. You can reach them by phone at 613 402 7904, or by email at  or


If you would like to have a light shined on your business, please contact us at: or call us at 613-448-2321.