Shape memory alloys (SMA) exhibit functional properties associated with the shape memory effect, responsible of the SMA shape recovery after a cycle of deforming-heating and of a simultaneous generation of mechanical work. Composite systems incorporating SMA wires have the ability to actively change shape and other structural characteristics. The functional properties of such adaptive composites are related to the martensitic transformation in the SMA elements and to the constraining behaviour that the composite matrix has on the SMA wires. In this work the behaviour of a shape memory alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) is numerically and experimentally investigated. A plate was fabricated using prestrained SMA wires embedded in an epoxy resin pre preg glass fibres composite system. Upon calorimetric and mechanical material characterization, a finite element model was used in order to predict the structural behaviour of the SMAHC. In the experimental tests, the plate was clamped at one side and actuated via electrical heating. Temperature and displacement data were collected and compared with the prediction of the finite element model. The results show that the model is able to capture the shape change in the actuation region, although a thorough description of the SMAHC behaviour requires further modelling work, including the simulation of the SMA loading history during composite manufacturing.