It seems to be an aerodynamic test article, essentially a wind tunnel model not for a wind tunnel. For that purpose, simple and low-cost construction makes sense. If this a sham, and hey it could be, this is not the indicator.
this episode give a partial explication about that issuemerriman said:Did I miss something? Apparently this is a catalyst break-down only 'cold' steam rocket. It still gets hotter aft of the catalyst than any resin suspended glass/carbon/Kevlar structure I know of can handle. How are they cooling the hot side of this steam engine?