kick the tires and light the fires

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From kick the tires, referring to a preflight check of the landing gear, and light the fires, referring to the ignition of the afterburners, a part of the engine which burns extra fuel for a speed boost.

Verb[edit]

kick the tires and light the fires

  1. (US, military slang, used by fighter pilots) To take off.
    • 1998, Jimmy Buffett, A Pirate Looks at Fifty (2000 Random House edition), ISBN 9780449005866, p. 108 (Google preview):
      His face appears in the open window of the pilot's seat on the flight deck. He is ready. I am ready. It's time to kick the tires and light the fires.