PETER KING 11-8-40 to 23-8-20
Born during the Blitz, Peter King joined the Surbiton club in 1952 and placed third in the Frog Junior free-flight contest at the Nats the year after, at the age of 13. He later joined Croydon & DMAC but at the same time taught himself clarinet and alto sax, developing a great feel for modern jazz, in particular the be-bop techniques of Charlie Parker. At the age of nineteen he was asked to play alto at the opening night of Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in 1959, and there followed a thirty year break from model flying, while he developed his career as one of the world’s most highly-regarded alto saxophonists.
During that time he played with many of the world’s leading jazz groups, including Johnny Dankworth, Zoot Sims, Ray Charles and the Charlie Watts Tentet, as well as with singers such as Anita O’Day and Jimmy Witherspoon. His film work included The Italian Job and The Talented Mr. Ripley. He wrote an opera, Zyklon, based on the life of the inventor of the gas used in Auschwitz and cut fourteen albums with his own quartets.
In 1990 he came back to competitive free-flight and re-joined the Croydon club, flying in both the F1B Wakefield and F1G Coupe d’Hiver classes with considerable success. Peter had always had an interest in low-speed aerodynamics and wrote several papers on model performance for the BMFA’s Free Flight Forum Reports and for the US NFFS Symposium Report. He will be much missed by his friends, both in free-flight and the world of modern jazz.