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The name originates from steam-powered vehicles. The firewall separates the driver from the fire heating the boiler.
In aviation, a firewall on an aircraft isolates the engine(s) from other parts of the airframe. In single-engine aircraft, it is the part of the fuselage that separates the engine compartment from the cockpit. In most multi-engine propeller aircraft, the firewall typically divides the nacelle from the wing of the aircraft, or divides the nacelle into two zones.
"Put the throttle to the firewall" refers to setting the engine to run at maximum speed.
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