He scaled the heights at a tender age but now the young aviator dubbed the Baby Branson' after winning the approval of the Kidlington tycoon, has come down to earth with a very different type of business.

Martin Halstead, now 20, came under the national spotlight when he tried to set up an air service between Oxford and Cambridge under the trading name Alpha One Airways.

It failed to get off the ground and although he had more success flying out of the Isle of Man, his airborn adventures are on hold for the time being. He has become the marketing director of DMR Music, a newly-formed music shop and recording studio based in Oxford's High Street.

Mr Halstead has invested in the business, formerly known as the Oxford Music Shop, after managing director Martin Rynearson took it over earlier this year.

Now, instead of overseeing passenger flights, he is dealing in sheet music, selling saxophones and other instruments and starting to manage local up and coming bands.

He said: "I almost lost a sense of normality for a while. I am 20 years old and now I am hanging out with people my own age."

Mr Halstead has linked up with Mr Rynearson, a former employee of the Oxford Music Shop, who bought the business when the previous owners, Music and Print, decided to move out.

Mr Rynearson said: "I saw the potential, not just as a music shop but as a centre for music nights and even an academy. I wanted to do so much more."

After effectively being made redundant, Mr Rynearson ploughed his redundancy money back into setting up the business, Delicious Music Republic (DMR) along with shop manager Lucy Daniels.

He met Mr Halstead completely by chance when he came in to book some guitar lessons and they ended up working together.

DMR is ultimately the holding company which will include DMR Music, the retail side, a recording studio and academy using qualified teachers and an entertainment agency arranging and selling tickets to local events.

Mr Rynearson said: "We want to become a centre for the music community in Oxford."

DMR will also promote local bands and is planning a free festival in Islip next summer featuring live jazz and rock and open mics' for impromptu performances.

There are also plans to start a record label and sign up local bands, and soon there will be a Delicious Music magazine which has come ready-made after DMR took over the existing local music publication, Open View.

Oxford-based bands such as The Turbulence, Moocher, Not My Day and the Captain Pyrates are very much under the DMR spotlight as they look to find the next Supergrass or Radiohead.

"We have gone from switching over the business to setting up our own head office and are going from strength to strength," said Mr Rynearson.

Ultimately, the business will need more space and there are already plans to expand, as well as setting up an online store.

DMR's reputation has already started to spread in the industry with up-and-coming band The Kooks paying a visit recently.

Mr Rynearson said: "It is so hard not to overstretch yourself - people are queuing up to get involved."

Meanwhile, Mr Halstead is enjoying his new challenge, which is offering him a different kind of buzz to the airline business.

He said: "Music is a passion of mine and I have always believed your work should be something you are passionate about."

Alpha One was eventually bought out by a company called Jetstream Executive and Mr Halstead, a former pupil of Abingdon School who abandoned his A-levels to become a pilot, took the opportunity to come home.

"Before, I was away from everyone I know back in Oxford and it seemed like the right time to go.

"But I achieved that (Alpha One) and no-one can take it away from me."

And he has not given up his dreams of forming his own airline - possibly even DMR Airways.

As we speak, Mr Rynearson draws the tailplane of an aircraft bearing the DMR logo.

Mr Halstead said: "Aviation is a bug and we are looking at it very seriously. There is more to come!"

It seems the sky is still the limit for Baby Branson'.' n Contact: DMR 01865 242784