The F-4’s in mothballs are rapidly being used up as target drones (QF-4’s). They are already making plans to use early-block F-16’s as replacements as they are running out of Phantoms.
Yes, I really mentioned the F-4 in jest as all airframes wear out. Even the venerable 737-100’s and 200’s (along with the early 747’s) are being converted to beer cans now. Sure, they could have been rebuilt indefinitely, but eventually it is cheaper to build new which was rather my point.
I know a lot of folks have a certain ..... romantic attachment to particular airframes, but support of antique systems (ie. F-14s) becomes hideously expensive as well. My father-in-law was horrified to discover that the early B-52’s were getting chopped up in Tucson. I pointed out that those things have EIGHT engines, and weren’t really worth keeping around. Still, he’s a romantic, and remained unconvinced.
My point is that they might look nice in a park (or on a “stick” up here in Colorado Springs), but one really shouldn’t try to keep them flying as long as they’re using my money to do it.