yes, the collings foundation is probably the only institution out there to own one. F4s are extremely (nay, beyond outrageous) expensive to operate. As a note, collings charges $500 to fly for 15 minutes on a B24 liberator. Yes, I was 'stupid' enough to pay that amount to tool around on a clear day in Monterey two years ago. It was rare to have clear weather there and rare to fly in such a bird--bottom line, the Collings foundation is not lacking for dough.
Back to the F-4. Expensive as all hell to operate.
And then there's flying them. Yes, people may own F5s out there, but the F5 is like a toy when compared to the Rhino.
I have the dubious honor of being one of the last aviators to go through the RAG and then have the bearaucracy decide that the F4s need to be replaced by the F18.
I was relieved but saddened that I never flew one in the fleet. Relieved that I never got to do a trap. The F18 was like moving into a Porsche 911 after stepping out of a monster truck.
Look at the thing. It's a huge-ass flying brick with little stubby delta wings.
It's fast as hell at altitude. mach 2.30, so they say. But when you go into a roll, the rhino will want to yaw as all get out. And if you don't stay "ahead" of it, you may go into a flat spin--which many will not get out of.
Between 150--300kts the aircraft is damn near unresponsive. Landing it is a challenge too as the sink rate is incredible. 182kts "clean" and the controls are mushy, mushy, mushy.
On a hot desert day (El Centro) plan on using up most of the runway on takeoff and climbing like a 152 until the airspeed builds up.
Point is, owning one would require a full-up ground crew. Hundreds of hours of training
Did I mention that it is the best thing I have ever experienced? I didn't even get the opportunity to "really' fly it, and I miss it.