What does the expression “to go up in the air” mean and Where does it come from?

The expression “to go up in the air” is said not only of balloons and aviators, but of ordinary persons, American fathers especially, who become vociferously enraged, who sputter furiously in resemblance to a skyrocket with an ignited fuse, from which the expression originated some fifty or sixty years ago.

Its British equivalent is “to get one’s monkey up,” which arose from the readiness with which the short-lived ire of monkeys is aroused.