Roland Rohlfs started his career establishing motorcycle records in 1914, before turning to the field of aviation. Rohlfs became an instructor and experimental test pilot with Curtiss Aeroplane Company during World War I, and he established speed and altitude records. Because of his popularity, he endorsed advertisements for such items as watches, spark plugs, parachutes and cars. In 1928, Rohlfs developed and patented an aerial neon sign, and established the Aerial Advertising Company to administer it. Toward the end of his career, he promoted private flying as a "Personal Flying Specialist" for the Civil Aviation Authority and he was an operations manager for Aeromarine Airways. Rohlfs was a member of the Early Birds.