Welcome to IRL, a series of articles where I'll check how some game elements compare to their real life counterparts.
what do you mean, this is patented!?
For this first part, I decided to take a look at the plane sequence in uncharted 3: during this sequence, the protagonist infiltrates a cargo plane through the front landing gear during take off, then proceeds to a gunfight that leads to the plane's destruction, and finally escapes safely by grabbing a container mid-fall.
killed everyone? check. vehicule destroyed? check. iconic pose? check.
The cargo plane itself is absurdly large, looking more like it belongs in an alternate reality setting. Meet the real life Antonov 225, the largest plane ever created:
The plane used in the game is clearly designed after the an-225, down to the twin tails. However, a few key differences show how it was changed for cinematic purposes. First, there is not nearly enough space below it to fit a car, and it would be impossible to access the hold from the landing gear anyway. The main difference, however is the 6 turbofan engines getting replaced by 4 propeller engines. While such a large plane would never be able to fly with propellers, it is coherent with the events displayed in the game: turbofan equipped planes have high acceleration during takeoff, making it impossible for a car to catch up with it, and this type of engine is to be avoided in rough evironments, such as deserts.
Sadly, at 6.4m wide, the an-225's hold is not as large as the one shown in the game, which would have made for a much less interesting gunfight. More could be discussed about the freefall part, like how Drake could catch up with the container even though it was probably falling faster, or how he was able to hold on to it when the parachute deployed, but that's another story.