Beer mats go supersonic

November 7, 2003

A flip-friendly beer mat has been developed by two university researchers. Ian Johnston, an aerodynamics expert at the Open University in Edinburgh, and Hazel Lucas, who is doing a masters degree at the University of Oxford, were commissioned to design the mats by cider maker Strongbow.

The final design looks like a normal beer mat with two lightweight, arched wings attached to opposite edges. Mr Johnson said: "When I first looked at the project I thought it was a bit of a joke, but it soon became fascinating from an engineering point of view. With the demise of Concorde, our mat is perhaps the most aerodynamically advanced object now in the air." Strongbow has sent mats to student bars at Manchester and Nottingham universities and University College London.

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