When I saw that, other than the near tear-to-eye something of such human beauty can bring, my immediate assumption was that it’s a bit of an optical illusion because you’re looking at it in 2D.
Check the depth of field. Both the airplane and the runway are in sharp focus, which tells me the pic must have been taken far enough from the prime subject so that the lens was essentially focused to infinity. Now, that probably would have had a wide enough angle to where you could see or get a clue on the horizon, and then it could have simply been cropped to remove those optical references. Working in 3D drawing as you do I’m sure you can think of a number of elements that could fool the eye.
And following up:
Also, look how the exhaust gases blur and obscure the runway markings and tire skid marks, even out to the outer fringes. If that’s a Photoshop, it’s gotta be the best ever.
Hey, you could test my previous hypothesis with your Class A drawing app, I’d imagine. Draw a horizon, a runway, and then place a clip art airplane at a standard takeoff angle 3/4 of the way down the runway. Pan out and rotate until you’re looking dead on at the plane with the whole runway and horizon in view. Snap a shot, then crop it down to where only the the object and minimal runway are in view. My guess is you’ll get something that looks a bit like that photo.
Any other ideas?